Next-to-leading order QCD corrections to Z boson pair production via vector-boson fusion
Vector-boson fusion processes are an important tool for the study of electroweak symmetry breaking at hadron colliders, since they allow to distinguish a light Higgs boson scenario from strong weak boson scattering. We here consider the channels WW->ZZ and ZZ->ZZ as part of electroweak Z boson pair production in association with two tagging jets. We present the calculation of the NLO QCD corrections to the cross sections for p p -> e+ e- mu+ mu- + 2 jets and p p -> e+ e- nu_mu nubar_mu + 2 jets via vector-boson fusion at order alpha_s alpha^6, which is performed in the form a NLO parton-level Monte Carlo program. The corrections to the integrated cross sections are found to be modest, while the shapes of some kinematical distributions change appreciably at NLO. Residual scale uncertainties typically are at the few percent level.