Signals of non-minimal Higgs sectors at future colliders
This thesis concerns the study of extended Higgs sectors at future colliders. Such studies are well motivated since enlarged Higgs models are a necessity in many extensions of the Standard Model (SM), although these structures may be considered purely in the context of the SM, to be called the 'non-minimal SM'. The continuous theme of the thesis is the task of distinguishing between the (many) theoretically sound non-minimal Higgs sectors at forthcoming colliders. If a Higgs boson is found it is imperative to know from which model it originates. In particular, the possible differences between the Higgs sectors of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) and the non-minimal SM are highlighted. Considered first are the detection prospects of light charged Higgs scalars (H(^±)) at e(^+)e(^-) colliders. The discovery of a H(^±) would provide unambiguous evidence for a non- minimal Higgs sector. We show that in certain (but not all)non-minimal models a light H(^±) may exist i.e. be within the mass range accessible at LEP2 (M(_H)(_ ±) ≤ Mw). In particular the MSSM requires M(_H±) ≥ Mw, and thus detection of a at LEP2 is strong evidence against the MSSM. We discuss ways of distinguishing between the models which may contain a light H(^±) by exploiting differences in the decay channels. Attention is then given to the neutral Higgs bosons of the non-minimal SM. It is possible that these particles may possess a greatly different phenomenology to that of the mammal SM and MSSM, and we explore the feasibility of observing these differences at LEP2 and the LHC It is found that distinct, sometimes spectacular signatures are possible. The thesis next considers a more exotic Higgs representation, namely that of Higgs triplets, and compares its phenomenology at LEP2 with that of the non-minimal models covered thus far The phenomenon of Higgs bosons decoupling from the fermions(fermiophobia) arises naturally in the above triplet model, and this concept is studied in more depth in the final chapter. It is emphasized that such particles are not possible in the MSSM.