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(2017) Synthese 194 (2).

Sensitivity to the square of the cutoff scale of quantum corrections of the Higgs boson mass self-energy has led many authors to conclude that the Higgs theory suffers from a naturalness or fine-tuning problem. However, speculative new physics ideas to solve this problem have not manifested themselves yet at high-energy colliders, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. For this reason, the role of naturalness as a guide to theory model-building is being severely questioned. Most attacks suggest that one should not resort to arguments involving gravity, which is a much less understood quantum field theory. Another line of attack is against the assumption that there exists a multitude of additional heavy states specifically charged under the Standard Model gauge symmetries. Nevertheless, if we give ground on both of these assaults on naturalness, what remains is a naturalness concern over the prospect of numerous additional spin-zero scalar states in nature. The proliferation of heavy scalars generically destabilizes the Higgs boson mass, raising it to the highest and most remote scalar mass values in nature, thus straining the legitimacy of the Standard Model. The copious use of extra scalars in theory model building, from explaining flavor physics to providing an inflationary potential and more, and the generic expectation of extra scalar bosons in nature argues for the proliferation instability problem being the central concern for naturalness of the Standard Model. Some approaches to solving this problem are presented.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-014-0618-8

Full citation:

Wells, J. D. (2017). Higgs naturalness and the scalar boson proliferation instability problem. *Synthese* 194 (2), pp. 477-490.

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