Printer Friendly

Chase continues for a lighter Higgs: latest estimates narrow target for mass of elusive particle.

In the hunt for the Higgs boson, the world's most powerful particle collider has tightened the net. New data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider near Geneva narrow the range of allowable masses for the hypothetical particle, whose existence would confirm the mechanism thought to give mass to other particles.

To fit with the standard model of particle physics, the Higgs must now be lighter than 145 billion electron volts, or GeV, team members from LHC's ATLAS and CMS experiments reported August 22 in Mumbai, India, at the International Symposium on Lepton Photon Interactions at High Energies.

This new limit goes beyond previous results from the Tevatron at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.--which directly excluded 156 to 177 GeV by looking for debris left behind when the Higgs breaks down, and indirectly ruled out masses above 185 GeV.

"We've now confirmed with direct searches that the mass of standard model Higgs, if it exists, is light," says CERN's Fabiola Gianotti, a spokeswoman for ATLAS.

As it runs out of room to hide, the Higgs is still playing hard to get. Faint hints of the Higgs seen at the LHC in July--particles with energies in line with a lighter Higgs--have grown fainter in the new LHC data. Still, CERN physicists expect to discover or rule out the existence of the Higgs in the next two years.
COPYRIGHT 2011 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Atom & Cosmos; Higgs boson
Author:Powell, Devin
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EXSI
Date:Oct 8, 2011
Previous Article:Super-Earths--dense or fluffy: exoplanets of a certain size apparently come in two types.
Next Article:Belly bacteria can boss the brain: gut microbes lower stress hormones and anxiety in mice.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |