PHYSICAL REVIEW D, vol.101, no.5, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
This paper presents results of searches for the electroweak production of supersymmetric particles in models with compressed mass spectra. The searches use 139 fb(-1) of root s = 13 TeV proton-proton collision data collected by the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. Events with missing transverse momentum and two same-flavor, oppositely charged, low-transverse-momentum leptons are selected, and are further categorized by the presence of hadronic activity from initial-state radiation or a topology compatible with vector-boson fusion processes. The data are found to be consistent with predictions from the Standard Model. The results are interpreted using simplified models of R-parity-conserving supersymmetry in which the lightest supersymmetric partner is a neutralino with a mass similar to the lightest chargino, the second-to-lightest neutralino, or the slepton. Lower limits on the masses of charginos in different simplified models range from 193 to 240 GeV for moderate mass splittings, and extend down to mass splittings of 1.5 to 2.4 GeV at the LEP chargino bounds (92.4 GeV). Similar lower limits on degenerate light-flavor sleptons extend up to masses of 251 GeV and down to mass splittings of 550 MeV. Constraints on vector-boson fusion production of electroweak SUSY states are also presented.