This Letter presents a search for the production of a long-lived neutral particle (Zd) decaying within the ATLAS hadronic calorimeter, in association with a standard model (SM) Z boson produced via an intermediate scalar boson, where Z→+ (=e, μ). The data used were collected by the ATLAS detector during 2015 and 2016 pp collisions with a center-of-mass energy of s=13 TeV at the Large Hadron Collider and correspond to an integrated luminosity of 36.1±0.8 fb-1. No significant excess of events is observed above the expected background. Limits on the production cross section of the scalar boson times its decay branching fraction into the long-lived neutral particle are derived as a function of the mass of the intermediate scalar boson, the mass of the long-lived neutral particle, and its cτ from a few centimeters to one hundred meters. In the case that the intermediate scalar boson is the SM Higgs boson, its decay branching fraction to a long-lived neutral particle with a cτ approximately between 0.1 and 7 m is excluded with a 95% confidence level up to 10% for mZd between 5 and 15 GeV.

Aaboud, M., Aad, G., Abbott, B., Abdinov, O., Abeloos, B., Abhayasinghe, D.K., et al. (2019). Search for the Production of a Long-Lived Neutral Particle Decaying within the ATLAS Hadronic Calorimeter in Association with a Z Boson from pp Collisions at s =13 TeV. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 122(15), 151801 [10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.151801].

Search for the Production of a Long-Lived Neutral Particle Decaying within the ATLAS Hadronic Calorimeter in Association with a Z Boson from pp Collisions at s =13 TeV

Ceradini F.;Di Micco B.;Di Nardo R.;Orestano D.;Petrucci F.;