Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UC Riverside physicists participate in hunt for Higgs boson

06.07.2012
University is a founding member of an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider

Physicists on experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the particle physics laboratory on the border of Switzerland and France, announced yesterday (July 4) that they have observed a new particle. Whether the particle has the properties of the predicted Higgs boson, the world's most sought-after particle, remains to be seen.

The University of California, Riverside is a founding member of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, a large particle-capturing detector at CERN, and is one of only five U.S. institutes to be a founding member. UC Riverside was a key contributor to the design, prototype testing, and construction of the endcap muon chambers, one of the principal detector components used in the search for the Higgs boson.

Other central UCR contributions include participation in the design, construction, commissioning, and operation of the silicon-based tracker, and the commissioning and operation of the hadron calorimeter, both of which are fundamental to most CMS physics studies including the Higgs boson search.

The observed new particle is in the mass region around 125-126 GeV. Publication of the analyses is expected around the end of this month. If the particle is confirmed to be the Higgs boson, it would represent a keystone in our knowledge of the elementary forces and particles that exist in our universe.

The next step for scientists will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe. Are its properties as expected for the Higgs boson, the final missing ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics? Or is it something more exotic?

"The UCR group on CMS will take much more data this year and into 2013 — the 2012 run has just been extended by three months," said Gail Hanson, a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy, who recently met with UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White at CERN. "We will study the couplings of the new particle using this data. In supersymmetry, for example, there are multiple Higgs bosons, and a 125 GeV lightest Higgs boson is compatible with supersymmetric models. We will also continue to search for physics beyond the Standard Model."

The Standard Model of particle physics, the best explanation to date for how the universe works, has proven to explain correctly the elementary particles and forces of nature through more than four decades of experimental tests. But it cannot, without the Higgs boson, explain how most of these particles acquire their mass, a key ingredient in the formation of our universe.

"The question is whether the new particle discovered is the Standard Model Higgs or not," said J. William Gary, a professor of physics and astronomy at UCR. "We hope it is not the Standard Model Higgs, but rather a Higgs of a different variety, because we need a guide on how to extend the Standard Model to a deeper, more complete theory. We need more data to determine the new particle's properties, before the LHC begins a two-year shutdown."

In December 2011, the CMS and ATLAS experiments at the LHC announced seeing tantalizing hints of a new particle in their hunt for the Higgs. Since resuming data-taking in March 2012, the CMS and ATLAS experiments have more than doubled their collected data.

UCR currently has three postgraduate researchers and eight graduate students stationed at CERN, who are participating in CMS detector maintenance, operation, and upgrades.

UCR physics studies encompass a wide range of fundamental topics, including searches for the Higgs boson in the photon-photon channel, searches for physics beyond the standard model in signatures associated with supersymmetry and new heavy neutrinos, and studies of the top quark.

Besides Hanson and Gary, the UCR faculty who participate in CMS are Robert Clare, John Ellison, Owen Long, and Stephen Wimpenny. The UCR postgraduate researchers are Mauro Dinardo, Sudan Paramesvaran, and Suharyo Sumowidagdo. The UCR graduate students are John Babb, Kira Burt, Ferdinando Giordano, Jesse Heilman, Pawandeep Jandir, Elizabeth Kennedy, Arun Luthra, Harold Nguyen, Amithabh Shrinivas, Jared Sturdy, Rachel Wilken, and Xu Xu. Visiting scientist Hongliang Liu, a former UCR graduate student, is also part of the team.

Hundreds of scientists and graduate students from American institutions have played important roles in the search for the Higgs at the LHC. More than 1,700 people from U.S. institutions helped design, build and operate the LHC accelerator and its particle detectors.

The results presented yesterday at CERN are labeled preliminary. They are based on data collected in 2011 and 2012, with the 2012 data still under analysis. A more complete picture of the observations will emerge later this year after the LHC provides the experiments with more data.

"This is fundamental science at its best," said Clare, a professor of physics. "This observation of what could be the Higgs boson and potential future discoveries at the LHC will shed light on how the universe works."

Background:

Scientists proposed in 1964 the existence of the Higgs boson, whose coupling with other particles would determine their mass. Experiments at CERN and Fermilab have searched for the particle, but it has eluded discovery. Only now, after decades of developments in accelerator and detector technology and computing — not to mention advancements in the understanding of the rest of the Standard Model — are scientists approaching the moment of knowing whether the Higgs was the right solution to this problem.

When protons collide in the Large Hadron Collider, their energy can convert into mass, often creating short-lived particles. These particles quickly decay into pairs of lighter, more stable particles that scientists can record with their detectors.

Theoretical physicists have predicted the rate at which the Higgs boson will be produced in high-energy proton-proton collisions at the LHC and also how it decays into certain combinations of observable particles. Discovery of the Higgs — or another new particle — would represent only the first step into a new realm of understanding of the world around us.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 20,500 students. The campus will open a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion. A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

Iqbal Pittalwala | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucr.edu

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: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>