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It’s official, it’s a Higgs

By Hamish Johnston

It seems like only yesterday that the particle-physics blogosphere was on fire with rumours, speculation and even a bit of real information about the hunt for Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

How things have changed since a Higgs-like particle was identified in July last year. Since then, further analysis has revealed that the particle is even more Higgs-like – and today CERN has officially said that the particle is “a Higgs boson”.

The use of “a” rather than “the” is important, as it refers to the last big mystery surrounding this particle: is it the one and only Higgs of the Standard Model, or is it the lightest of several bosons predicted by some theories that go beyond the Standard Model?

We will probably have to wait until at least 2015 for the answer to that question because the LHC is currently being upgraded so it can be run at higher collision energies.

In the meantime, it looks as if some of those bloggers have lost their enthusiasm for the Higgs. In his blog Résonaances, Adam Falkowski writes “One thing I learned is that Higgs remains exciting enough to make me wake up at 8am. But barely so. Indeed, the time of the revolution is over, we are now entering a 20-year long period of incremental progress and painful squeezing of experimental errors. The best evidence of declining enthusiasm is that it took me 3 days to scribble a summary for Résonaances.”

Oh dear…please hang in there Adam, we’ll need your insight when the LHC fires up again!

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  1. Protogonus

    It’s become so boring that no one really cares whether the new entity is spin-0 or not, which is determinative of the question. Now, that truly is pathological boredom! Why not just go play tennis and forget about physics?

    • A. Asghar

      I do understand your being exausted to boredom, because it took more than 40 years’ hard labour to catch out this “Higgs-like” creature!

  2. reader01

    Yes, if we have Higgs, we must also explain where it has come from during quantum fluctuation that gives weight to particles that arising from this fluctuation? Or arise Higgs from this fluctuation too and at the same time as particles and antiparticles?

    • A. Asghar

      The mass of the Higgs itself is supposed to be due to the phenomenon of “self-interction” of the of the Higgs scalar field.

  3. I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering issues
    with your blog. It looks like some of the text in your content are running off the screen.
    Can someone else please provide feedback and let
    me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my web browser because I’ve
    had this happen previously. Thanks


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