Soft drop

  • Andrew J. Larkoski
  • Simone MarzaniEmail author
  • Gregory Soyez
  • Jesse Thaler
Open Access


We introduce a new jet substructure technique called “soft drop declustering”, which recursively removes soft wide-angle radiation from a jet. The soft drop algorithm depends on two parameters — a soft threshold z cut and an angular exponent β — with the β = 0 limit corresponding roughly to the (modified) mass drop procedure. To gain an analytic understanding of soft drop and highlight the β dependence, we perform resummed calculations for three observables on soft-dropped jets: the energy correlation functions, the groomed jet radius, and the energy loss due to soft drop. The β = 0 limit of the energy loss is particularly interesting, since it is not only “Sudakov safe” but also largely insensitive to the value of the strong coupling constant. While our calculations are strictly accurate only to modified leading-logarithmic order, we also include a discussion of higher-order effects such as multiple emissions and (the absence of) non-global logarithms. We compare our analytic results to parton shower simulations and find good agreement, and we also estimate the impact of non-perturbative effects such as hadronization and the underlying event. Finally, we demonstrate how soft drop can be used for tagging boosted W bosons, and we speculate on the potential advantages of using soft drop for pileup mitigation.


QCD Phenomenology Jets 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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© The Author(s) 2014

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew J. Larkoski
    • 1
  • Simone Marzani
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gregory Soyez
    • 3
  • Jesse Thaler
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Theoretical PhysicsMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUnited States
  2. 2.Institute for Particle Physics PhenomenologyDurham UniversityDurhamUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.IPhT, CEA Saclay, CNRS URA 2306Gif-sur-YvetteFrance

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