Researchers with Texas Tech University’s High Energy Physics Group who conduct research at CERN said they and other scientists may have discovered forensic evidence – a shadow or an impression – of the elusive particle called a Higgs boson.
Nural Akchurin, a member of the physics group, has served in leading roles in one of the two major experiments at CERN that is called the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS). He is an expert in calorimeters, a detector that measures the energies of fundamental particles that serve as “catcher’s mitts” to grab evidence of Higgs.
Nural Akchurin, professor of physics, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3427or firstname.lastname@example.org
• The Higgs boson theoretical particle is responsible for giving mass to particles – basically nature’s smallest building blocks.
• Proof of its existence could clear up many questions about the universe and cement the Standard Model of Particle Physics.
• Higgs is the last particle of this theory left to be discovered.
• The results announced today are labeled preliminary. They are based on data collected in 2011 and 2012, with the 2012 data still under analysis.
• A more complete picture of today’s observations will emerge later this year after the LHC provides the experiments with more data.
• “Today, we have evidence of some kind of signal, or resonance perhaps, of some particle. Is this signal ascribable to Higgs? This is a different question. For that, we need more data, different types of analysis.
• “What seems to be clear today is there is something significant that sticks out above background. Chances that this might be Higgs are not small, but it’s not necessarily Higgs either.”
• “I think we need be clear about what this means today. I don’t think we are ready to claim discovery of Higgs. I think we are prepared to say we have a signal that may be consistent with Higgs.”