Axion-like particles (ALPs) can provide a portal to new states of a dark sector. We study the phenomenology of this portal when the ALP mainly decays invisibly, while its interaction with the standard model sector proceeds essentially via its coupling to electrons and/or photons. We re-analyse existing limits from various collider and beam dump experiments, including in particular ALP production via electron/positron interactions, in addition to the usual production through ALP-photon coupling. We further discuss the interplay between these limits and the intriguing possibility of explaining simultaneously the muon and electron magnetic moment anomalies. Finally, we illustrate the prospects of ALP searches at the LNF positron fixed-target experiment PADME, and the future reach of an upgraded experimental setup.

The search for effective field theory deformations of the Standard Model (SM) is a major goal of particle physics that can benefit from a global approach in the framework of the Standard Model Effective Field Theory (SMEFT). For the first time, we include LHC data on top production and differential distributions together with Higgs production and decay rates and Simplified Template Cross-Section (STXS) measurements in a global fit, as well as precision electroweak and diboson measurements from LEP and the LHC, in a global analysis with SMEFT operators of dimension 6 included linearly. We present the constraints on the coefficients of these operators, both individually and when marginalised, in flavour-universal and top-specific scenarios, studying the interplay of these datasets and the correlations they induce in the SMEFT. We then explore the constraints that our linear SMEFT analysis imposes on specific ultra-violet completions of the Standard Model, including those with single additional fields and low-mass stop squarks. We also present a model-independent search for deformations of the SM that contribute to between two and five SMEFT operator coefficients. In no case do we find any significant evidence for physics beyond the SM. Our underlying $\tt{Fitmaker}$ public code provides a framework for future generalisations of our analysis, including a quadratic treatment of dimension-6 operators.

The $M_2$ variables are devised to extend $M_{T2}$ by promoting transverse masses to Lorentz-invariant ones and making explicit use of on-shell mass relations. Unlike simple kinematic variables such as the invariant mass of visible particles, where the variable definitions directly provide how to calculate them, the calculation of the $M_2$ variables is undertaken by employing numerical algorithms. Essentially, the calculation of $M_2$ corresponds to solving a constrained minimization problem in mathematical optimization, and various numerical methods exist for the task. We find that the sequential quadratic programming method performs very well for the calculation of $M_2$, and its numerical performance is even better than the method implemented in the existing software package for $M_2$. As a consequence of our study, we have developed and released yet another software library, YAM2, for calculating the $M_2$ variables using several numerical algorithms.