This paper presents a search for decays of the Higgs boson with a mass of 125 GeV into a pair of new pseudoscalar particles, H -> aa, where one a-boson decays into a b-quark pair and the other into a muon pair. The search uses 139 fb(-1) of proton-proton collision data at a center-of-mass energy root √s = 13 TeV recorded between 2015 and 2018 by the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. A narrow dimuon resonance is searched for in the invariant mass spectrum between 16 GeV and 62 GeV. The largest excess of events above the Standard Model backgrounds is observed at a dimuon invariant mass of 52 GeV and corresponds to a local (global) significance of 3.3 sigma (1.7 sigma). Upper limits at 95% confidence level are placed on the branching ratio of the Higgs boson to the bb mu mu final state, beta(H -> aa -> bb mu mu), and are in the range 0.2-4.0 x 10(-4), depending on the signal mass hypothesis.

Search for Higgs boson decays into a pair of pseudoscalar particles in the bb mu mu final state with the ATLAS detector in pp collisions at root √s=13 TeV

Alberghi, GL;Alfonsi, F;Ballabene, E;Bellagamba, L;Bindi, M;Boscherini, D;Cabras, G;Caforio, D;Carratta, G;Cavalli, N;Clissa, L;De Castro, S;Fabbri, L;Franchini, M;Gabrielli, A;Giacobbe, B;Massa, L;Polini, A;Rinaldi, L;