The ‘most comprehensive studies’ of the Higgs boson to date reveal 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 billion proton-proton collisions carried out inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) during its second run, which ended in 2018, analyzed 8 million the Higgs boson particles detected by the LHC’s ATLAS and CMS detectors.
The studies were published on Monday July 4, the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Higgs boson by the LHC, the world’s largest particle grinder. They show that the particle behaves exactly as expected by the standard model of particle physics, the overarching theory describing how the basic elements of universe hold together.
Related: The Large Hadron Collider returns in search of new physics
The Higgs boson plays a prominent role in the Standard Model. The particle carries an omnipresent quantum field, called the Higgs field, which gives mass to other elementary particles.
“After only 10 years of exploring 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 the ATLAS spokesperson, Andreas Hoecker. statement. “The Higgs sector is directly related to very deep questions related to the evolution of the early universe and its stability, as well as the mass-hitting pattern of particles of matter.”
During the experiments, physicists studied how Higgs bosons interact with each other and also with other particles. Such interactions frequently lead to the decay of Higgs bosons into other particles, and scientists believe that somewhere in this chain reaction they could produce black matterthe elusive stuff that no one has ever seen directly but is believed to make up about 80% of all matter in the universe.
“Drawing such a portrait of the Higgs boson so soon was unthinkable before the LHC started operating,” CMS spokesman Luca Malgeri said in the same statement. “The reasons for this success are manifold and include the outstanding performance of the LHC and the ATLAS and CMS detectors, as well as the ingenious 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, restarted earlier this year with his third set of experiments that will see him crush particles with even greater force than before. Some 180 million Higgs boson particles are expected to be produced during the new round of studies, which will further improve the accuracy of measurements of particle interactions.
Studies describing the ATLAS (opens in a new tab) and CMS (opens in a new tab) experiments were published Monday in the journal Nature.