Higgs boson

The Standard Model of particle physics was devised in the 1960s and 1970s and tested extensively over the decades. One unanswered question was on the origin of the mass of subatomic particles. A theory proposed in 1964 by Peter Higgs and others proposed an energy field called the Higgs field and a particle called the Higgs boson. It took nearly 50 years, but in 2012, the Higgs boson was discovered. In episode 8 of Subatomic Stories, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln sheds some light on this last discovered feature of the Standard Model.

From Physics World, April 3, 2020: A collaboration that includes Fermilab scientists is exploring how quantum computing could be used to analyze the vast amount of data produced by experiments on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The researchers have shown that a “quantum support vector machine” can help physicists make sense out of the huge amounts of information generated at CERN.

Only a fraction of collision events that look like they produce a Higgs boson actually produce a Higgs boson. Luckily, it doesn’t matter.

From CERN, Oct. 15, 2019: A new result by the CMS Collaboration narrows down the mass of the Higgs boson to a precision of 0.1%. After reporting the observation of the Higgs boson at the CERN LHC in 2012, scientists the ATLAS and CMS collaborations have been busy understanding exactly its place within the standard model of particle physics. Any straying from expectations could be an indication of new physics.

From CERN, May 24, 2019: The CMS collaboration used a large proton–proton collision dataset, collected during the Large Hadron Collider’s second run, to search for instances in which the Higgs boson might transform, or “decay”, into a photon and a massless dark photon.

From Science, Sept. 13, 2018: At a recent workshop at Fermilab, more than 100 physicists gathered to hone the conceptual tools needed for the long search for collisions that produce not just one Higgs boson, but two. Fermilab scientists Marcela Carena and Caterina Vernieri, as well as others on CMS and ATLAS, comment on the plan.