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Published November 2010 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

Electron-to-tau lepton flavor violation at the Electron-Ion Collider


We analyze the potential sensitivity of a search for e → τ conversion at a proposed electron-ion collider (EIC) facility. To that end, we calculate the cross sections for e → τ events in a leptoquark framework assuming that the leptoquark masses are on the order of several hundred GeV or more. Given present limits on leptoquarks from direct searches at HERA and rare decay processes, an EIC sensitive to 0.1 fb e → τ cross sections could probe previously unexplored regions of parameter space for these lepton flavor violating events (assuming 90 GeV center-of-mass energy and 10 fb^(−1) integrated luminosity). Depending on the species of leptoquark and flavor structure of the couplings, an EIC search could surpass the HERA and rare process sensitivity to e → τ conversion amplitudes by as much as an order of magnitude or more. We also derive updated limits on quark flavor-diagonal LFV leptoquark interactions using the most recent BaBar τ → eγ search. We find that limits from an EIC e → τ search could be competitive with the most recent τ → eγ limit for a subset of the quark flavor-diagonal leptoquark couplings. Using an SU(5) GUT model in which leptoquark couplings are constrained by theneutrino masses and mixing, we illustrate how observable leptoquark-induced e → τ conversion can be consistent with stringent LFV limits imposed by → eγ and e conversion searches.

Additional Information

© 2010 SISSA. Received: September 16, 2010; Accepted: October 23, 2010; Published: November 11, 2010. The authors thank Abhay Deshpande, Pavel Fileviez Pérez, Krishna Kumar, and William Marciano for useful discussions. MJRM also thanks the Aspen Center for Physics where part of this manuscript was completed. This work was supported in part by U.S. Department of Energy contract DE-FG02-08ER41531 and by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

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