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Science Technology

Fresh Evidence Supports Higgs Boson Discovery 42

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-what-we-found dept.
An anonymous reader writes Researchers at CERN have discovered the first evidence for the direct decay of the Higgs boson into fermions, a strong indication that the particle found two years ago is the Higgs boson. From the article: "Assistant professor of physics at MIT and leader of the international effort, Markus Klute, said that his team was trying to establish if the particle that was discovered in 2012 was really consistent with the Higgs boson that was found in the Standard Model, and not one of many Higgs bosons, or an a particle that looks like it but has a different origin." Their researchers also found that the bosons also decay to fermions (fermions include all quarks and leptons) in a way that is consistent with the Standard Model Higgs. 'We have now established the main characteristics of this new particle, in its coupling to fermions and to bosons, and its spin-parity structure; all of these things are consistent with the Standard Model,' Klute says." CERN has also announced the LHC restart schedule.
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Fresh Evidence Supports Higgs Boson Discovery

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  • this is news for nerds for real....if it really is, that is. never know with the Standard Model orthodoxy.
    • Even if the discovery is for real, this is _not_ news for nerds.
      They have just discovered what has been there all along, for billions of years.

      Now, what to _do_ with this discovery, that's the real nerdy part.

  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Monday June 23, 2014 @09:47AM (#47297469)
    Well, I guess Earth isn't a type 13 planet after all.
  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Monday June 23, 2014 @09:58AM (#47297511)

    Here's what I don't understand, which is probably because I wasn't a physics major.

    I thought the idea behind the Higgs Boson was this one particle that explained away a lot of different things in physics if you inserted it into the equation, but that no one could actually prove existed - and thus the idea was that if it did exist, physics was validated and if not, they'd be going back to the drawing board.

    The way I've always heard it talked about, there was only one Higgs boson that either existed or did not exist - anything different wouldn't be considered a Higgs boson, but a different particle altogether since there was a specific definition as to what constituted a Higgs boson.

    So, how can there be more than one Higgs boson?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      since there was a specific definition as to what constituted a Higgs boson

      The definition isn't specific. For example it doesn't specify the mass.

    • by AchilleTalon (540925) on Monday June 23, 2014 @10:11AM (#47297559) Homepage

      In the energy range of the LHC the Higgs boson is not the only new particle that could have been discovered. You cannot automatically tag the particle a Higgs boson unless you observe and measure some of its characteristics, which is exactly what is done here, to prove it is actually a Higgs boson and not another exotic particle from another exotic theory. The Standard Model is far to be the only existing one and the LHC is also seeking for physics beyond the Standard Model. The few characteristics originally observed from the early announcement were insufficient to make certain it was a Higgs boson, that's why it was originally called a Higgs-like particle.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cciechad (602504)
        See this. Best explanation on how the higgs particle may vary. http://profmattstrassler.com/a... [profmattstrassler.com]
      • IMHO, it goes back to the old discovery of Muons and then Pions and when some physicists were convinced these two particles (one and then the other) were carrier bosons of the Strong Force. (Look up Yukawa particle) Muons turned out to be just another flavor of lepton and Pions were something entirely two (quark- anti-quark pairs) which were totally unexpected but fit the math perfectly as a Strong Force mediator particle at the time. (if I recall). This and other debacles of the past led physicists to be
    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday June 23, 2014 @10:15AM (#47297591)

      It depends on the model. In "The standard model" there is one Higgs boson. There are other models where there are more. This is a strong confirmation of the Standard model which is where the real story is. A lot of models for the universe just died. When the LHC restarts we should get some really interesting data.

    • by craklyn (1533019) on Monday June 23, 2014 @11:38AM (#47298157)

      This is kind of like if you're walking through the woods and you discover piles of bear shit as you go. The bear shit implies there's at least one bear in the woods, but it does not preclude that there could be multiple bears responsible for it.

      The Higgs field is a solution to the question of why some fundamental particles have mass. Theoretically, such a field is well-motivated. If such a field exists, it implies there is at least one massive, spin-zero particle that we have decided to call the Higgs boson. There are various extensions to our models, such as the so-called "Higgs two-doublet model" which SUSY extends, where more than one Higgs exists.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If this Higgs boson does exist with the appropriate characteristics, then the Standard model is not invalidated. Not is validated. Not proven true, just not proven false.

    • by radtea (464814) on Monday June 23, 2014 @06:48PM (#47301249)

      So, how can there be more than one Higgs boson?

      Physicists have a funny way of talking about theoretical entities, particularly these days when theory almost always leads experiment. We have years or decades to talk about theoretical entities, and that leads to a strange nomenclature.

      "The Higgs" is actually a class of particles. In the "bare" electro-weak theory none of the particles have masses. The only way to give them mass is to break one of the internal symmetries of the theory, and one "natural" way of doing that was invented by Peter Higgs and others in the form of a massive scalar field that takes on a non-zero vacuum expectation value as energy decreases (this is the famous "Mexican hat" potential.)

      Suppose we arrived on Earth from Mars and were observing the inhabitants, and we wondered how emergency vehicles would get through busy traffic. One of our number--call it Sggih--theorizes that humans, being visually-oriented, might use a flashing light to warn motorists of an emergency vehicle. Others might elaborate on this and suggest that both a flashing light and a loud noise would be use. All of these types of local warning mechanisms might go under the name of Sggih, with the original one being the "minimal Sggih mechanism" and the other ones going under different names.

      In the meantime, there are those who think that humans are telepathic, or use radios, or some other non-local signalling mechanism.

      Then one day in the course of observation a Martian--and let's say Martians are deaf, the air being so thin there--sees an emergency vehicle with a flashing light on top zipping through traffic. Horray! The Sggih mechanism is correct! At least probably... it may be that wasn't an emergency vehicle but some kind of advertising stunt. And if it is the Sggih, which one is it? Further research is required to determine if humans use the minimal Sggih mechanism or one of the more complex elaborations...

      This work is in the vein of that further research, and the outcome strongly suggests that of the various theoretical possibilities, nature is actually using the minimal Higgs and that is what has been seen, rather than some unexpected but similar exotic particle.

      All of this is good news for those of us who are unenthused by supersymmetry and other more-or-less exotic extensions to the Standard Model.

  • link (Score:5, Informative)

    by HybridST (894157) on Monday June 23, 2014 @10:32AM (#47297683) Homepage

    There was a link to a paper in phys.org's coverage yesterday. I read the coverage but I haven't had time to check the paper out.

    The story:
    m.phys.org/news/2014-06-evidence-higgs-boson-fermions.html

    The paper:
    http://www.nature.com/nphys/jo... [nature.com]

  • Of course you could replace the particles mentioned in the article with names from my kids' Pokemon decks and it would be just as meaningful to me, but I'm still taking it. Good news is hard to come by.

  • I'm not commenting on this discovery but here are the other top stories from that site... [imgur.com]
    1 Hyena escapes lions by hiding in an elephant
    2 Gay bears like blow jobs
    3 Indonesia bans video-sharing site Vimeo over 'porn'
    4 Top 5 worst mobile phones ever made
    5 Fresh evidence supports Higgs boson discovery

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