Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possible hints of Higgs boson remain in latest analyses, physicists say

Date:
December 13, 2011
Source:
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Summary:
Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider have nearly eliminated the space in which the Higgs boson could dwell, scientists announced in a seminar held at CERN Dec. 13. However, the ATLAS and CMS experiments see modest excesses in their data that could soon uncover the famous missing piece of the physics puzzle. Theorists have predicted that some subatomic particles gain mass by interacting with other particles called Higgs bosons. The Higgs boson is the only undiscovered part of the Standard Model of physics, which describes the basic building blocks of matter and their interactions.

Simulated production of a Higgs event in ATLAS. This track is an example of simulated data modeled for the ATLAS detector on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider have nearly eliminated the space in which the Higgs boson could dwell, scientists announced in a seminar held at CERN Dec. 13. However, the ATLAS and CMS experiments see modest excesses in their data that could soon uncover the famous missing piece of the physics puzzle.

Related Articles


The experiments revealed the latest results as part of their regular report to the CERN Council, which provides oversight for the laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.

Theorists have predicted that some subatomic particles gain mass by interacting with other particles called Higgs bosons. The Higgs boson is the only undiscovered part of the Standard Model of physics, which describes the basic building blocks of matter and their interactions.

The experiments' main conclusion is that the Standard Model Higgs boson, if it exists, is most likely to have a mass constrained to the range 116-130 GeV by the ATLAS experiment, and 115-127 GeV by CMS. Tantalising hints have been seen by both experiments in this mass region, but these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery.

Higgs bosons, if they exist, are short-lived and can decay in many different ways. Just as a vending machine might return the same amount of change using different combinations of coins, the Higgs can decay into different combinations of particles. Discovery relies on observing statistically significant excesses of the particles into which they decay rather than observing the Higgs itself. Both ATLAS and CMS have analysed several decay channels, and the experiments see small excesses in the low mass region that has not yet been excluded.

Taken individually, none of these excesses is any more statistically significant than rolling a die and coming up with two sixes in a row. What is interesting is that there are multiple independent measurements pointing to the region of 124 to 126 GeV. It's far too early to say whether ATLAS and CMS have discovered the Higgs boson, but these updated results are generating a lot of interest in the particle physics community.

Hundreds of scientists from U.S. universities and institutions are heavily involved in the search for the Higgs boson at LHC experiments, said CMS physicist Boaz Klima of the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago. "U.S. scientists are definitely in the thick of things in all aspects and at all levels," he said.

More than 1,600 scientists, students, engineers and technicians from more than 90 U.S. universities and five U.S. national laboratories take part in the CMS and ATLAS experiments, the vast majority via an ultra-high broadband network that delivers LHC data to researchers at universities and national laboratories across the nation. The Department of Energy's Office of Science and the National Science Foundation provide support for U.S. participation in these experiments. Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is the host laboratory for the U.S. contingent on the CMS experiment, while Brookhaven National Laboratory hosts the U.S. ATLAS collaboration.

Over the coming months, both the CMS and ATLAS experiments will focus on refining their analyses in time for the winter particle physics conferences in March. The experiments will resume taking data in spring 2012.

"We've now analyzed all or most of the data taken in 2011 in some of the most important Higgs search analyses," said ATLAS physicist Rik Yoshida of Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. "I think everybody's very surprised and pleased at the pace of progress."

Higgs-hunting scientists on experiments at U.S. particle accelerator the Tevatron will also present results in March.

Discovering the type of Higgs boson predicted in the Standard Model would confirm a theory first put forward in the 1960s.

Even if the experiments find a particle where they expect to find the Higgs, it will take more analysis and more data to prove it is a Standard Model Higgs. If scientists found subtle departures from the Standard Model in the particle's behavior, this would point to the presence of new physics, linked to theories that go beyond the Standard Model. Observing a non-Standard Model Higgs, currently beyond the reach of the LHC experiments with the data they've recorded so far, would immediately open the door to new physics.

Another possibility, discovering the absence of a Standard Model Higgs, would point to new physics at the LHC's full design energy, set to be achieved after 2014. Whether ATLAS and CMS show over the coming months that the Standard Model Higgs boson exists or not, the LHC program is closing in on new discoveries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Possible hints of Higgs boson remain in latest analyses, physicists say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213114954.htm>.
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. (2011, December 13). Possible hints of Higgs boson remain in latest analyses, physicists say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213114954.htm
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Possible hints of Higgs boson remain in latest analyses, physicists say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213114954.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


More Clues in the Hunt for the Higgs: Physicists Unveil the Largest Amount of Data Ever Presented for the Higgs Search

Dec. 15, 2011 Physicists have announced that the Large Hadron Collider has produced yet more tantalizing hints for the existence of the Higgs boson. The European Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva, the ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins