CERN’s Large Hadron Collider confirmed that it was indeed a Higgs boson they discovered two years ago. A new study confirms the discovery and says the Higgs boson behaves exactly as the Standard Model of particle physics predicts.
Good news for Higgs boson fans out there. Not so good news if you were looking for the Higgs boson to upend the Standard Model and propel us towards the unknown.
The study, published in Nature Physics, dishes the details on the Higgs boson. It confirms the Higgs boson decays into fermions. Before today, we knew the particle decayed into bosons. What’s the difference? Fermions are mass-carrying particles, think protons and neutrons. Bosons are force-carrying particles, similar to photons.
The Standard Model I mentioned above predicted the Higgs boson is the particle that gives fermions their mass. Today, we got confirmation that Higgs bosons do decay into fermions.
Enough science talk, what does this mean in layman terms? It means scientists can say with some certainty that the Higgs boson is the particle that gives mass to everything.
“Our findings confirm the presence of the Standard Model Boson,” says Markus Klute of the CMS Collaboration. “Establishing a property of the Standard Model is big news itself.”
What does the future hold for the Higgs boson? The team at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, plan to confirm today’s findings with greater confidence.
“Within the current level of precision there is still room for other models with particles that look like the Standard Model Higgs, so we need to accumulate more data to figure out if there is a deviation. Although if we do find a deviation from the Standard Model, it is likely to be a very closely related one,” Klute added.
The LHC will fire up the collider for more particle collisions next year. We’ll see if today’s confirmation holds up to greater scrutiny.