In the Standard Model, Flavor-Changing Neutral Currents (FCNCs) are strongly suppressed by a combination of small Yukawa couplings, small CKM matrix elements, and the GIM mechanism. Precise measurements of these processes put tight constraints on the structure of new physics coupled to quarks. These constraints are typically avoided by assuming that new interactions are either “flavor-blind” or have a structure very similar to the standard model (thus inheriting some of the aforementioned protections). While these assumptions allow new physics at the TeV scale, they also necessitate that the new physics be coupled primarily to the heaviest generation of quarks, seriously limiting the phenomenology at high energy experiments.
Recently, I’ve been working with Daniel Egana-Ugrinovic and Patrick Meade on understanding different classes of “flavor vacua”, i.e., the patterns of quark couplings in models of new physics. In doing so, we’ve engineered a new Ansatz called Spontaneous Flavor Violation (SFV). This setup allows new interactions with sizable couplings to light quarks while still being safe from stringent constraints on FCNCs. In the context of particular models, e.g., a model with a second Higgs doublet, this leads to a number of novel signatures at colliders such as dijet resonances and enhanced Yukawa couplings of the Standard Model Higgs. For more details, check out our recent paper, and some preliminary results presented at Pheno 2019.