Tevatron tests Higgs boson’s fit into Standard Model

The combined Tevatron experiments test whether the Higgs boson follows the intricate blueprints of the Standard Model.

The Standard Model dictates the intricate relationships between the particles it describes, but does the Higgs boson follow that blueprint and fit those specifications? If so, the Higgs boson must have the predicted properties, including the correct production rate and the right preferences for decaying into other particles. The Tevatron experiments, CDF and DZero, have just released the results of their combined study of the Higgs boson, making best use of the decade’s worth of data collected during Run II to improve the precision of this important test of the Standard Model.

The Higgs boson plays the important role of giving mass to other particles in the Standard Model and interacts with other particles in proportion to their masses. It does not decay into massless particles, like photons, except through processes involving intermediate massive particles. Coordinated efforts between teams of analyzers at each experiment ensured that analyses covered as many ways as possible that the Higgs boson could be produced and then decay. Each individual analysis was optimized to be as sensitive as possible to the Higgs signal.

All possible decays are considered when examining the total rate of Higgs boson production, though the Tevatron experiments are most sensitive to decays into pairs of bottom quarks when measuring individual decay channels. Both the total rate of Higgs boson production and the decay rate measured in each channel considered are found to be consistent with the Standard Model predictions. Further tests were performed to test for a preference for the Higgs boson to associate with either other bosons or quarks and leptons, but none of significance was observed. These results, which represent the culmination of many years of effort from the CDF and DZero collaborations, validate the Higgs boson’s fit into the amazingly successful machinery of the Standard Model.

Mike Cooke

These results would not be possible without the support the CDF and DZero collaborations receive from those outside our respective collaborations. We would like to recognize the important fundamental contributions the Accelerator Division, Particle Physics Division and Computing Division have made to our physics program. Our success is made possible through the continuing support of many national and international funding agencies, especially that of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.