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Heeerrrreee Higgsy Higgsy

CMS2.jpgHot on the heels of recent limits on the theory of supersymmetry, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) collaboration at CERN has published the first limits on the mass of the Higgs boson.

The Higgs is the boson to spot at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—the world’s biggest particle accelerator and home to the CMS experiment and its Higgs-hunting sister ATLAS. The boson is the particle associated with the Higgs mechanism, which researchers believes endows other particles with mass.

Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) CMS saw no sign of the Higgs. In data taken last year, the collaboration searched for cases where the Higgs decayed into two W-bosons and saw nothing. Time to panic? Not exactly. First of all, the CMS experiment could only exclude the Higgs in a relatively narrow mass range between 144-207 giga-electron volts. Second, the exclusion only applies to special scenarios where there are two extra kinds of quarks that nobody has ever seen before. CMS has a nice explanation fo the results here.

That doesn’t make the work any less impressive. The barrage of new results on black holes, supersmmetry theory, and Higgs all coming out of the LHC in the past few months really shows how quickly the collider is coming up to speed. Just today, it made its first 7 TeV collisions of the year, and within a week or two it should be humming along full-tilt.

Once it does, it will begin closing in on the Higgs very quickly. The number of collisions in the accelerator will be dramatically higher than most of last year, so CMS and ATLAS will gather data far faster than they did in the last run. Hopefully the first few Higgs events will appear soon, though it may be a few years more before physicists declare it to be “discovered”.

Image: CERN


  1. Report this comment

    Uncle Al said:

    Mirror-symmetric strong interactions are postulated normal. Physics derived therefrom is defective. Einstein-Hilbert action must be supplemented with a parity-violating Chern-Simons term. Chiral weak interactions have manually inserted “symmetry breakings.”

    The universe is empirically chiral at all scales. Start with that. Teleparallel gravitation (Einstein, et al., 1930) embraces vacuum chiral divergence as spacetime torsion. A vacuum left foot is invisible to massless particles, socks, and left shoes. Massed right shoes are an assay of spacetime geometry with test mass geometry.

    Failure of the Higgs, SUSY, and quantum gravitation can be resolved within 90 days in existing appratus using commercial materials. Chemically and macroscopically identical single crystals in enantiomorphic space groups falsify the Equivalence Principle,

    Opposed enantiomorphs of alpha-quartz or gamma-glycine. Right-handed 3(1) screw axes, left-handed 3(2) screw axes.

    The worst it can do is succeed.

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