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Observations

It’s Official: We’ve Found the Higgs Boson–but Which One?

Potential Higgs to photon decay event as seen by the CMS experiment at the LHC

When last we checked in on the hunt for the Higgs, physicists weren’t yet ready to call the deal done. They were only willing to say that they had discovered a new particle—some sort of boson—and that this new boson was “Higgs-like.” Their reticence hinged on the measurement of the new particle’s spin, a fundamental [...]

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Observations

Have Scientists Found 2 Different Higgs Bosons?

Higgs boson

A month ago scientists at the Large Hadron Collider released the latest Higgs boson results. And although the data held few obvious surprises, most intriguing were the results that scientists didn’t share. The original Higgs data from back in July had shown that the Higgs seemed to be decaying into two photons more often than [...]

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Observations

New Higgs Results Bring Relief—and Disappointment

Potential Higgs to photon decay event as seen by the CMS experiment at the LHC

This past July, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider announced that they had discovered a new particle that looked much like the long-sought-after Higgs boson. In fact, the Higgs-like particle they found was nearly perfect—based on the available data, it looked almost exactly like what the Standard Model of Particle Physics predicts the Higgs to [...]

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Observations

What It Means to Find “a Higgs”: Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Day 3

Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with Gross Veltman Rubbia Smoot CERN

Felicitas Pauss, head of international relations at CERN in Geneva, asked for a show of hands from the audience of young scientists: Who worked on the ATLAS or CMS instruments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, or LHC? Many hands went up for each. And who worked as a theorist? More hands appeared—hundreds in all. Last, [...]

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Observations

What Happens If We Find the Higgs Particle–or If We Don’t?

With instruments offering “tantalizing hints” in support of the Higgs boson, the elementary particle thought to endow matter with mass, we stand at a singular moment in time for physics. Will we get sufficient evidence to confirm the existence of the Higgs, thus helping to complete the decades-old Standard Model? Will science have to go [...]

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