, 2010:64,
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Date: 19 Oct 2010

Predictions for Higgs production at the Tevatron and the associated uncertainties


We update the theoretical predictions for the production cross sections of the Standard Model Higgs boson at the Fermilab Tevatron collider, focusing on the two main search channels, the gluon-gluon fusion mechanism ggH and the Higgs-strahlung processes \( q\bar{q} \to VH \) with V = W/Z, including all relevant higher order QCD and electroweak corrections in perturbation theory. We then estimate the various uncertainties affecting these predictions: the scale uncertainties which are viewed as a measure of the unknown higher order effects, the uncertainties from the parton distribution functions and the related errors on the strong coupling constant, as well as the uncertainties due to the use ofan effective theory approach in the determination of the radiative corrections in the ggH process at next-to-next-to-leading order. We find that while the cross sections are well under control in the Higgs-strahlung processes, the theoretical uncertainties are rather large in the case of the gluon-gluon fusion channel, possibly shifting the central values of the next-to-next-to-leading order cross sections by more than ≈ 40%. These uncertainties are thus significantly larger than the ≈ 10% error assumed by the CDF and D0 experiments in their recent analysis that has excluded the Higgs mass range M H = 162–166 GeV at the 95% confidence level. These exclusion limits should be, therefore, reconsidered in the light of these large theoretical uncertainties.