In reviewing some general articles on theoretical Higgs branching ratios it appears that, other things being equal, more massive decay products are favored over less massive ones. (Bottom quark pair over charm pair, tau pair over muon pair, etc.) This seems unusual since typically phase space factors favor branching to the lighter decay products. Is there a simple, intuitive explanation for this?

  • $\begingroup$ It's not an oddity. It is a cornerstone property of the SM Higgs. $\endgroup$ – Cosmas Zachos Jun 6 '18 at 21:05

The coupling of the Higgs boson to a particle is proportional to the mass of that particle. Given the role of the Higgs mechanism in mass generation, this should make some sense intuitively.

The phase space is smaller for more massive daughter particles, but the larger coupling dominates when the combined mass of the daughter particles is not near threshold.

  • $\begingroup$ OK, thanks, I see now that the Higgs-fermion interaction terms after symmetry breaking are proportional to the first power of each fermion mass. Thanks very much, just what I was looking for. $\endgroup$ – Jim Eshelman Jun 7 '18 at 1:37

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