Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


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

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

Jana Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:

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

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Simple experiment explains magnetic resonance
09.12.2019 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor
09.12.2019 | Rice 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: Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor

Band structure map exposes iron selenide's enigmatic electronic signature

Using a clever technique that causes unruly crystals of iron selenide to snap into alignment, Rice University physicists have drawn a detailed map that reveals...

Im Focus: Developing a digital twin

University of Texas and MIT researchers create virtual UAVs that can predict vehicle health, enable autonomous decision-making

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location...

Im Focus: The coldest reaction

With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction

The coldest chemical reaction in the known universe took place in what appears to be a chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: Deep within that...

Im Focus: How do scars form? Fascia function as a repository of mobile scar tissue

Abnormal scarring is a serious threat resulting in non-healing chronic wounds or fibrosis. Scars form when fibroblasts, a type of cell of connective tissue, reach wounded skin and deposit plugs of extracellular matrix. Until today, the question about the exact anatomical origin of these fibroblasts has not been answered. In order to find potential ways of influencing the scarring process, the team of Dr. Yuval Rinkevich, Group Leader for Regenerative Biology at the Institute of Lung Biology and Disease at Helmholtz Zentrum München, aimed to finally find an answer. As it was already known that all scars derive from a fibroblast lineage expressing the Engrailed-1 gene - a lineage not only present in skin, but also in fascia - the researchers intentionally tried to understand whether or not fascia might be the origin of fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts kit - ready to heal wounds

Im Focus: McMaster researcher warns plastic pollution in Great Lakes growing concern to ecosystem

Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem.

In an article published this month in the Journal of Waste Resources and Recycling, Gail Krantzberg, a professor in the Booth School of Engineering Practice...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

Latest News

The Arctic atmosphere - a gathering place for dust?

09.12.2019 | Earth Sciences

New ultra-miniaturized scope less invasive, produces higher quality images

09.12.2019 | Information Technology

Discovery of genes involved in the biosynthesis of antidepressant

09.12.2019 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>