We study the possibility to observe sterile neutrinos with masses in the range 5 GeV<mN<20 GeV at the LHC, using the exclusive semileptonic modes involving pions, namely W→ℓN→nπℓℓ (n=1,2,3). The two pion and three pion modes require extrapolations of form factors to large time-like q2, which we do using vector dominance models as well as light front holographic QCD, with remarkable agreement. This mass region is difficult to explore with inclusive ℓℓjj modes or trilepton modes and impossible to explore in rare meson decays. While particle identification is a real challenge in these modes, vertex displacement due to the long living neutrino in the above mass range can greatly help reduce backgrounds. Assuming a sample of 109 W bosons at the end of the LHC Run 2, these modes could discover a sterile neutrino in the above mass range or improve the current bounds on the heavy-to-light lepton mixings by an order of magnitude, |UℓN|2∼2×10-6. Moreover, by studying the equal sign and opposite sign dileptons, the Majorana or Dirac character of the sterile neutrino may be revealed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)