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Easy to Detect when Higgs decays to Z + Z

Z bosons also have several decay modes, including Z → e+ + e- and Z → µ+ + µ-

The Z + Z decay mode is quite easy for the ATLAS and CMS experiments to detect when both the Z bosons decay into one of these two modes (Z → e+ e- or Z → µ+ µ- ). Then the four observed decay modes of the Higgs boson are:

The end result is that one will sometimes see (in addition to some unrelated particles) four muons, or, four electrons, or two muons and two electrons.

Both the Higgs and Z bosons decay in a tiny fraction of a second, so we only see these electrons and muons (e+ e- µ+ µ-) with a combined mass of about 125 GeV.

This photo shows a neon sign of an actual event recorded by the ATLAS detector in which four muons (shown in neon) were produced. The other particles are shown in the background. -- © LBNL