Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

OU physicists part of international collaboration leading to discovery of Higgs boson

06.07.2012
University of Oklahoma high-energy physicists were among the 1,700 U.S. scientists from 89 American universities who collaborated on the international effort in the search for the Higgs boson. Results announced this week from CERN indicate discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson.

Professors Patrick Skubic, Mike Strauss, Brad Abbott and Phillip Gutierrez, OU College of Arts and Sciences, Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, work on projects at both Fermilab and CERN. The group concurs the discovery of the Higgs is one of the most important results produced from the international collaboration. The Higgs is the missing piece of the puzzle—it is the one particle that validates and completes what is known in particle physics as the Standard Model.

"We are trying to understand nature by answering some of the most fundamental questions of the universe," says Strauss. "What are the most basic building blocks of the universe? How did the universe begin? If you don't understand nature today, you won't have technological advances tomorrow. Semi-conductors are a very good example of this," Strauss remarks.

"Along the way, scientists make discoveries that result in major technological advances. In order to discover these things, we often have to develop new technologies, such as high-speed electronics," says Abbott. "A part of the OU supercomputer is used to analyze data from the Atlas project at CERN."

"Another important note, OU scientists helped to build parts of the detector used at CERN and some assembly of detector parts was done in Oklahoma City. Oklahomans played an important role in the discovery of the Higgs boson," according to Skubic.

Gutierrez explained the differences in how the data is collected at Fermilab and CERN. Fermilab collected data from 2001 to 2011 and ran experiments at a much lower energy than CERN. The other difference is that CERN looks at the decay of the Higgs particle to photons and Fermilab looks at its decay to b-quarks. Fermilab's approach is more direct while CERN's approach is more indirect; however, the two complement each other.

Data collected and analyzed at 5 sigma indicated the discovery of a new particle, but CERN cautioned that further analysis is needed to determine if the particle has the properties of the Higgs. Gutierrez says additional data will be collected and analyzed and samples will have to be extracted to see how the particles decay. The Higgs boson decays immediately after production. So, reconstructing the Higgs in the various decay modes is critical for verification.

Scientists will look at the mass of the particle to determine if it is consistent or inconsistent with the Standard Model. If it is inconsistent, Gutierrez says OU theorist Howard Baer or Chung Kao will be consulted to try to explain the inconsistency. According to Baer, "Finding the Higgs is only the tip of the iceberg. It raises a lot of questions, but we are closing the book on one chapter and opening the door to another chapter in the world of particle physics."

Funding for the U.S. projects comes from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. For more information about the OU High-Energy Physics group, visit www.nhn.ou.edu.

Jana Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ou.edu
http://www.nhn.ou.edu

Further reports about: CERN Fermilab Higgs boson Higgs particle building block particle physics

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>