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Advances in High Energy Physics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 690254, 17 pages
Review Article

Long-Lived Heavy Quarks: A Review

1Centre for Cosmology, Particle Physics and Phenomenology (CP3), Université catholique de Louvain, Chemin du Cyclotron 2, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
2Institut für Experimentalphysik, Universität Hamburg, Luruper Chaussee 149, 22761 Hamburg, Germany

Received 30 July 2012; Revised 22 January 2013; Accepted 31 January 2013

Academic Editor: Kai-Feng Chen

Copyright © 2013 Mathieu Buchkremer and Alexander Schmidt. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We review the theoretical and experimental situation for long-lived heavy quarks, or bound states thereof, arising in simple extensions of the Standard Model. If these particles propagate large distances before their decay, they give rise to specific signatures requiring dedicated analysis methods. In particular, vector-like quarks with negligible couplings to the three known families could have eluded the past experimental searches. While most analyses assume prompt decays at the production vertex, novel heavy quarks might lead to signatures involving displaced vertices, new hadronic bound states, or decays happening outside of the detector acceptance. We perform reinterpretations of existing searches for short- and long-lived particles, and give suggestions on how to extend their reach to long-lived heavy quarks.