The “most comprehensive study” of the Higgs boson yet done shows the particle is behaving exactly as expected and could help unlock some of physics’ biggest mysteries, including the nature of dark matter, scientists say.
Two new studies based on 10,000 trillion proton-on-proton collisions conducted inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) analyzed 8 million during its second run, which ended in 2018 Higgs boson Particles detected by the LHC’s ATLAS and CMS detectors.
The studies were released on Monday (July 4), the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Higgs boson by the LHC, the world’s largest particle smasher. They show that the particle behaves exactly as predicted standard model of particle physics, the all-encompassing theory that describes how the basic building blocks of universe stick together
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The Higgs boson plays a prominent role in the Standard Model. The particle is the carrier of an all-pervading quantum field, the so-called Higgs field, which gives other elementary particles their mass.
“After only 10 years of research into the Higgs boson at the LHC, the ATLAS and CMS experiments have provided a detailed map of its interactions with force carriers and matter particles,” said ATLAS spokesman Andreas Hoecker in a expression. “The Higgs sector is directly linked to very profound questions related to the evolution of the early Universe and its stability, as well as the striking mass pattern of matter particles.”
During the experiments, the physicists investigated how Higgs bosons interact with each other and with other particles. Such interactions often cause Higgs bosons to decay into other particles, and scientists think they may be formed somewhere in this chain reaction Dark matterthe elusive substance that no one has ever seen directly, but is believed to make up about 80% of all matter in the universe.
“Outlining such an early portrait of the Higgs boson was unthinkable before the LHC began operations,” CMS spokesman Luca Malgeri said in the same statement. “The reasons for this achievement are multiple and include the exceptional performance of the LHC and the ATLAS and CMS detectors, as well as the sophisticated data analysis techniques employed.”
The Large Hadron Collider operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (known by its French acronym CERN) in an underground tunnel near Geneva in Switzerland, Relaunched earlier this year with its third series of trials, in which it will shatter particles with even greater force than before. About 180 million Higgs boson particles are expected to be produced during the new series of studies, which will further improve the accuracy of measurements of the particles’ interactions.
The studies that describe the ATLAS (opens in new tab) and CMS (opens in new tab) Experiments were published in the journal Nature on Monday.
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