Physicists are Still Not Sure in the Continuing Quest for the Higgs Boson

The Higgs Boson is now called something of a half-truth after two teams of physicists conducted research involving the Large Hadron Collider. Though initial reports suggest that the Higgs Boson truly is there and does possess a mass around 133 times greater than that of a proto, scientists are still far from a complete understanding of the situation.

Though the two teams of scientists feel that they are able to observe consistent signals at around the same energy, not all of the data is completely harmonious. Various detectable articles that result from Higgs decay are viewable, but one of the teams has plotted data that illustrates measurements at other masses. This means that the one team is able to see other possible Higgs measurements, at a number of masses. Some physicists suggest that this might mean that a statistical mirage is being created because of the fluctuations involved.

The LHC unit feeds two large particle detector systems, named ATLAS and CMS that smash protons to create new particles. The two detectors try to find signs of the Higgs particle coming into existence and almost immediately faltering into a decay state. The decay products are then checked to see if they fall within a prevailing theory. Since the operations have been conducted for around two years, there should have been enough data to at least suggest a confirmation of the Higgs. In one respect, they have at least partially suggested that it could be there. However, in July, there were also said to be possible traces of the model that were later torn apart as more data started to surface.

Among other things, ATLAS researchers have been looking for the Higgs to decay into two Z boson particles. Each of these should decay into either a muon and an antimuon or an electron and an antielectron. They have been able to view three possible decays at 125 GeV, which suggests that the Higgs might be present around that position. To some degree, the CMS team appears to have similar data. The LHC should produce more data by the end of next year, which might help to confirm or deny these findings, but the machine is shut down for the winter at the current time.


AUTHOR: Josip Ivanovic