Search for Higgs boson at an “exciting beginning”, Durham University expert says
(13 December 2011)
The search for the Higgs boson is at a "very exciting and positive beginning", according to a Durham University physics expert.
Scientists working on two experiments - Atlas and CMS - at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), at CERN, in Geneva, today reported seeing hints of the Higgs boson at a similar mass, though they have not yet claimed a discovery.
The Higgs boson is a particle believed to give mass to other particles and is thought to be the missing piece of the Standard Model of physics, which explains how particles interact. Scientists believe it could be key to our understanding of the Universe.
Commenting on the findings put forward by scientists at the LHC, Professor Valentin Khoze, Director of the Institute of Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP), Department of Physics, Durham University, said: "This is really a very exciting beginning, a very positive beginning of the story.
"What today's findings tell us is that we have narrowed down the field to where the Higgs boson could exist, but more detailed experimental evidence is needed.
"What we need to discover is whether this is the Higgs boson and whether it fits within the Standard Model or if it exists beyond the Standard Model.
"The most interesting thing would be if we needed to go beyond the Standard Model because this would be truly new physics.
"Definitely within the next year we will know much more."
The IPPP at Durham University is a leading international centre for research in particle physics phenomenology - the bridge between theory and experiment in the study of the tiny building blocks of all matter in the Universe and of the fundamental forces that operate between them.
Experts from the IPPP are providing the theory and analysis behind a number of experiments at the LHC.