Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


First hint of the Higgs boson particle

Particle physicists at Mainz University are excited: 50 years after its prediction, the Higgs boson gradually takes shape

The answer to one of the most exciting questions in particle physics seems almost close enough to touch: Scientists at the Geneva research center CERN have observed first signs of the Higgs boson and now believe that they will soon be able to prove the existence of the elementary particle they have been trying so hard to isolate. It is the last missing piece in the puzzle of the Standard Model of particle physics to explain the structure of matter.

A discovery would be sensational news. "We indeed may have observed the first evidence of the Higgs particle, but it is still too early for a definitive statement," says Professor Dr. Volker Büscher from the Institute of Physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany. "And if this evidence turns out to be correct, the data now being analyzed will for the first time provide information about the mass of the Higgs boson," adds Professor Dr. Stefan Tapprogge. At Mainz University, some 50 physicists participate in CERN's research, in particular in the ATLAS experiment, one of two major experiments tasked with searching for the Higgs particle.´

The particle was predicted almost 50 years ago and is named after the British physicist Peter Higgs. Since then, scientists all over the world have been searching for it. Its discovery would explain the origin of the masses of all other elementary particles. Just two years after its start, proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have now delivered the results which raise scientists' expectations. "At this point in time, we can make two statements," Büscher says. "First, if the Higgs boson actually has the characteristics it is assumed to have, then its mass must be between 115 and 131 gigaelectron volts – a much smaller window than just a year ago. Second, we have found a very intriguing excess of events, which could be the first direct evidence of a Higgs boson with a mass around 125 GeV." The experiments at CERN will continue next year. If the evidence is confirmed, the Higgs boson would be about 125 times as heavy as a proton.

In addition to this new data from the ATLAS detector, the second large particle detector at LHC, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), has revealed similar indications. Confirmation would be a dream come true for the scientists working with Volker Büscher and Stefan Tapprogge. Many have dedicated their academic careers to the hunt for the Higgs particle – and are involved right now when things get really exciting. "This is a great moment for us all, and it would be wonderful if the observations were confirmed," says Tapprogge. Scientists are not yet speaking of a discovery, because it is still too early: The number of events observed is not yet large enough to statistically rule out a random effect. However, the fact that two independent experiments, ATLAS and CMS, both point in the same direction, creates excitement and raises hopes that this could indeed be the mysterious Higgs particle.

The Higgs boson was predicted in 1964. Within the theory, it would give mass to the other elementary particles of the Standard Model. According to the physicists, the entire universe is filled with the so-called Higgs field. Depending on how strong the individual elementary particles couple to the Higgs boson, they would have more or less mass. If the missing particle is actually discovered, this would not only confirm a model but would also mark the beginning of a new field of research. The LHC provides ideal conditions to study the Higgs field and the origin of mass in detail, especially with the even higher proton beam energy scheduled for 2014 onwards.

The researchers of the working group for Experimental Particle and Astroparticle Physics (ETAP) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz are involved in particular in the ATLAS experiment, one of two major experiments at the LHC. The ATLAS detector is 46 meters long, 25 meters high, and 25 meters wide. It is able to detect and precisely measure new particles produced during proton collisions. A total of approximately 3,000 researchers from all over the world are taking part in the ATLAS experiment.

The work of the ETAP group is integrated into the Cluster of Excellence Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter (PRISMA), which has successfully made it into the final selection round of the German Federal Excellence Initiative.

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

nachricht New survey hints at exotic origin for the Cold Spot
26.04.2017 | Royal Astronomical Society

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

Latest News

Millions through license revenues

27.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today

27.04.2017 | Information Technology

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>