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We re-evaluate the constraints on the parameter space of the minimal supersymmetric standard model from tunneling to charge- and/or color-breaking minima, taking into account thermal corrections. We pay particular attention to the region known as the Natural MSSM, where the masses of the scalar partners of the top quarks are within an order of magnitude or so of the electroweak scale. These constraints arise from the interaction between these scalar tops and the Higgs fields, which allows the possibility of parameter points having deep charge- and color-breaking true vacua. In addition to requiring that our electroweak-symmetry-breaking, yet QCD- and electromagnetism-preserving vacuum has a sufficiently long lifetime at zero temperature, also demanding stability against thermal tunneling further restricts the allowed parameter space.

Vevacious: a tool for finding the global minima of one-loop effective potentials with many scalars
(2013)

Several extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics contain additional scalars implying a more complex scalar potential compared to that of the Standard Model. In general these potentials allow for charge- and/or color-breaking minima besides the desired one with correctly broken SU(2) L ×U(1) Y . Even if one assumes that a metastable local minimum is realized, one has to ensure that its lifetime exceeds that of our universe. We introduce a new program called Vevacious which takes a generic expression for a one-loop effective potential energy function and finds all the tree-level extrema, which are then used as the starting points for gradient-based minimization of the one-loop effective potential. The tunneling time from a given input vacuum to the deepest minimum, if different from the input vacuum, can be calculated. The parameter points are given as files in the SLHA format (though is not restricted to supersymmetric models), and new model files can be easily generated automatically by the Mathematica package SARAH. This code uses HOM4PS2 to find all the minima of the tree-level potential, PyMinuit to follow gradients to the minima of the one-loop potential, and CosmoTransitions to calculate tunneling times.

The anomalies in the B-meson sector, in particular R-K(*) and R-D(*), are often interpreted as hints for physics beyond the Standard Model. To this end, leptoquarks or a heavy Z' represent the most popular SM extensions which can explain the observations. However, adding these fields by hand is not very satisfactory as it does not address the big questions like a possible embedding into a unified gauge theory. On the other hand, light leptoquarks within a unified framework are challenging due to additional constraints such as lepton flavor violation. The existing accounts typically deal with this issue by providing estimates on the relevant couplings. In this letter we consider a complete model based on the SU(4)(C) circle times SU(2)(L) circle times U(1) R gauge symmetry, a subgroup of SO(10), featuring both scalar and vector leptoquarks. We demonstrate that this setup has, in principle, all the potential to accommodate R-K(*) and R-D(*) while respecting bounds from other sectors usually checked in this context. However, it turns out that K-L -> e(+/-)mu(-/+) severely constraints not only the vector but also the scalar leptoquarks and, consequently, also the room for any sizeable deviations of R-K(*) from 1. We briefly comment on the options for extending the model in order to conform this constraint. Moreover, we present a simple criterion for all-orders proton stability within this class of models.