Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physicists in Mainz and all around the world cheer the discovery of the Higgs particle

13.07.2012
Success at the world's largest particle accelerator LHC / Experiments involving scientists from Mainz University show first direct evidence of the Higgs boson

The mystery of the origin of matter seems to have been solved. At the middle of last week, CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, announced the discovery of a new particle that could be the long sought-after Higgs boson. The particle has a mass of about 126 gigaelectron volts (GeV), roughly that of 126 protons.


The image shows a collision recorded by the ATLAS detector on June 10, 2012 during which a Higgs particle was generated with a high level of probability. This boson immediately decayed to form other elementary particles (muons, represented by red lines). Ill./©: JGU

"Almost half a century has passed since the existence of the Higgs boson was first postulated and now it seems that we at last have the evidence we have been looking for. What we have found perfectly fits the predicted parameters of the Higgs boson," says Professor Dr. Volker Büscher of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).

The Higgs boson is important to our current fundamental theory of physics as it explains why the elementary building blocks of matter have a mass at all. Initial indications that the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) were going to lead to a breakthrough were documented in December 2011. "We have since corroborated the recorded signal, and the new data demonstrate with a high level of significance the presence of a Higgs-like particle in the region we expected," explains Büscher.

The new evidence comes from an enormously large volume of data that has been more than doubled since December 2011. According to CERN, the LHC collected more data in the months between April and June 2012 than in the whole of 2011. In addition, the efficiency has been improved to such an extent that it is now much easier to filter out Higgs-like events from the several hundred million particle collisions that occur every second.

The data analyzed by the ATLAS detector, to which the Experimental Particle and Astroparticle Physics (ETAP) working group in Mainz made a significant contribution, found an excess of Higgs-like particles in all of the final states studied. "The rapid and yet careful analysis of the new data required a strong commitment over the recent weeks and months, and so we are especially proud to be able to announce such an exciting finding," says Dr. Christian Schmitt of the ETAP working group.

At the same time, the second large particle detector of the LHC, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), recorded events consistent with those of ATLAS and which matched precisely the footprint of the postulated Higgs boson. "We have been working towards this moment for years and are amazed that the LHC and its experiments have produced such results in only two and a half years after the first proton-proton collision," states Professor Dr. Stefan Tapprogge of the ETAP working group.

The existence of the Higgs boson was predicted in 1964 and it is named after the British physicist Peter Higgs. It is the last piece of the puzzle that has been missing from the Standard Model of physics and its function is to give other elementary particles their mass. According to the theory, the so-called Higgs field extends throughout the entire universe. The mass of individual elementary particles is determined by the extent to which they interact with the Higgs bosons. "The discovery of the Higgs boson represents a milestone in the exploration of the fundamental interactions of elementary particles," states Professor Dr. Matthias Neubert, Professor for Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics and spokesman for the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA at JGU.

On the one hand, the Higgs particle is the last component missing from the Standard Model of particle physics. On the other hand, physicists are struggling to understand the detected mass of the Higgs boson. "Using our theory as it currently stands, the mass of the Higgs boson can only be explained as the result of a random fine-tuning of the physical constants of the universe at a level of accuracy of one in one quadrillion," explains Neubert.

Thus, physicists hope that the "new physics" will provide a more straightforward explanation for the characteristics of the Higgs boson than that derived from the current Standard Model. This new physics is sorely needed to find solutions to a series of yet unresolved problems, as presently only the visible universe is explained, which constitutes just four percent of total matter. "The Standard Model has no explanation for the so-called dark matter, so it does not describe the entire universe – there is a lot that remains to be understood," Büscher summarizes.

The work of the Mainz physicists is integrated in the Cluster of Excellence "Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter" (PRISMA), which achieved an impressive success in this year’s Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.uni-mainz.de/eng/15513.php - press release ;
http://public.web.cern.ch/ - CERN ;
http://atlas.ch/ - The ATLAS Experiment ;
http://www.uni-mainz.de/eng/14894.php - press release "First hint of the Higgs boson particle" (6 Jan. 2012) ;

http://www.uni-mainz.de/magazin/98_ENG_HTML.php - JGU MAGAZINE: "Higgs boson electrifies Mainz physicists" (27 Dec. 2011)

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration
18.10.2017 | NASA/Johnson Space Center

nachricht Study shows how water could have flowed on 'cold and icy' ancient Mars
18.10.2017 | Brown University

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>