Interview: 'Next year we will see the Higgs particle - or exclude its existence'

Nov 24, 2011
Siegfried Bethke in front of the Atlas Detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva. © MPI for Physics

(PhysOrg.com) -- Interview with Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bethke, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Physics in Munich, about the current research results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Professor Bethke, particles have been colliding with each other at the LHC for two years now, the detectors have so far registered close to one thousand billion collisions. Has it brought us any further?

Bethke: We have been searching very hard, but the has not yet been able to discover previously unknown . Even effects which would hint at new theories or even a new physics have failed to materialise.

That is a sobering thought.

Bethke: It is indeed slightly disappointing, but it is not unexpected. We knew right from the start that we would need a huge number of collisions for convincing . This is why the LHC will operate not only for two years, but for ten or 20. Secretly, we had nonetheless hoped that nature would have a surprise in store for us at an earlier stage. But still, even without nature’s help, way over 100 scientific publications have been published so far.

What are they about, if you haven’t discovered anything?

Bethke: Even if you don’t find anything, it is possible to determine exclusion limits for the phenomena you are seeking, for the super-symmetric quarks, for example, whose existence would expand the current model of particle physics. We know now that they must be at least 1,000 times heavier than protons. This sounds boring at first, but is very interesting for physicists and for the formulation of new theories. In addition, we have used the LHC as planned to check the current standard model of elementary particle physics.

What did you have to check there?

Bethke: We know that the standard model cannot be nature’s final answer. It has too many unanswered questions, it is far removed from a theory of everything. At high energies, in particular, we expect deviations. We can now test these regions for the first time at the LHC.

And, have you already refuted the model?

Bethke: On the contrary, so far the measurement results match the theoretical predictions very well, even at high energies. This is fine for the standard model, of course, but as far as a new physics is concerned, it is almost a disappointment.

And what about the mysterious Higgs particle, which is deemed to be responsible for providing elementary particles with their mass in the current model? Nobody has seen it so far.

Bethke: We have not yet seen an unambiguous positive signal, either. We can already exclude many regions, however, so that only a few corners remain for the Higgs particle to hide. We want to intensify our search at these energies in the coming year. It would be a triumph if we were to find the particle.

And if not, would it be a serious defeat?

Bethke: No, not at all. If we could definitely exclude the existence of the Higgs boson on the basis of our measurements, it would even be a revolution. We would have to scrap the . Theoreticians would have to look for an alternative theory which can conclusively describe the world down to the tiniest detail. This would be significantly more exciting than simply confirming the Higgs particle.

When will you be certain?

Bethke: The LHC has been running unexpectedly well for more than a year now and providing us with more data than we had hoped for even under the most optimistic assumptions. If it continues like this, we will have seen the by the end of next year at the latest – or will be able to exclude its existence once and for all.

The interview was conducted by Alexander Stirn.

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vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (10) Nov 24, 2011
NOTES: Chapter 4-Plasma Vision of the Universe-1993
helps you with Vortex Spiral Dual mode and links to Universal Plasma Energy Model.
PLASMA VISION OF THE UNIVERSE-1993 (Reg No: TXu 729718 ) (No# Pages-95, Figures 58)
THE VISION OF COSMIC TO *PREM UNIVERSE-1995 (Reg No: TXu 893693 ) *PREM: Plasma
Regulated Electro-Magnetic Universe (No# Pages 148, Figures 56)
One can read book: Cosmic Consciousness to Cosmology Revision-2000(Reg No:TXu 982-559) (No#
Pages 94, Figures 16)-by Vidyardhi Nanduri
[Research 2003(V Nanduri):
www [dot] ociw [dot] edu/ociw/symposia/series/symposium3/proceedings [dot] html]
[link]
http://www.scribd...erse-200
COSMIC Pot Universe model http://adsabs.har......STSCI SYMPOSIUM MAY 2003
http://adsabs.har...mpE..37N ....Cosmology Structures-Carneie-OCIW-2003
Vidyardhi Nanduri
rawa1
1 / 5 (10) Nov 24, 2011
Dense aether theory models space-time with the water surface and the Higgs boson correspond the smallest density fluctuations observable by the surface waves. Whereas these density fluctuations manifest like the CMBR noise and their wavelength is defined well, with increasing distance from human observer scale the observable Universe disappears in the background noise until it becomes completely fuzzy. It's similar to observation of fractal terrain through fog: at proximity its structures will be recognizable well, at distance they will remain covered with fog and as such indistinguishable from noise.

After all, even the Standard Model predicts no particular mass for Higgs boson - which effectively means, it doesn't require it for any quantitative predictions. The less or more defined mass of Higgs is predicted with supersymmetric extensions of Standard model, which require nearly one hundred of additional parameters, which aren't available experimentally by now.
jsdarkdestruction
3 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2011
is this actually a scientist they are talking to? if you dont find the higgs it doesnt mean you need to throw away the whole standard model, thats total nonsense.
anadish
1 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2011
It's a non quantum sub ev world out there. Gravitation and mass are due to a very different form of particle or particles, no resemblance with Higgs. Look for DCE research in Sweden, if you want to see the shape of the things to come. Eventually STR will be marginalized and space and mass will be seen as interchangeable.
vega12
5 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2011
is this actually a scientist they are talking to? if you dont find the higgs it doesnt mean you need to throw away the whole standard model, thats total nonsense.


You are right in the sense that obviously the table of particles that is the Standard model would be okay minus the lack of Higgs, but the Higgs mechanism for electroweak symmetry breaking and fermion mass generation would need to be re-worked. And since that part makes up the SU(2)xU(1) of the SU(3)xSU(2)xU(1) Standard model of gauge interactions, the Standard model WOULD have the be fundamentally changed.
rawa1
2 / 5 (3) Nov 25, 2011
Standard model WOULD have the be fundamentally changed
Why? Standard model cannot predict Higgs boson mass, it means it doesn't need it for any calculation. It's actually consistent with reality.
jsdarkdestruction
3.5 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2011
is this actually a scientist they are talking to? if you dont find the higgs it doesnt mean you need to throw away the whole standard model, thats total nonsense.


You are right in the sense that obviously the table of particles that is the Standard model would be okay minus the lack of Higgs, but the Higgs mechanism for electroweak symmetry breaking and fermion mass generation would need to be re-worked. And since that part makes up the SU(2)xU(1) of the SU(3)xSU(2)xU(1) Standard model of gauge interactions, the Standard model WOULD have the be fundamentally changed.

yeah, thats true. it at first kind of sounded like one of the off the wall comments we see regularly where a bunch of people who's name i wont mention chimes in how this or that kills the standard model and it all needs to be thrown away because 1 little parrt of it was different than we expected or not completely understood right away or our knowledge was incomplete.
vega12
not rated yet Nov 25, 2011
Why? Standard model cannot predict Higgs boson mass, it means it doesn't need it for any calculation. It's actually consistent with reality.


Well, if it was found out that the Higgs boson doesn't exist, yet the gauge theory behind the Standard model requires it, then the theory becomes unacceptable. The Standard Model might have some trouble predicting masses, but it does make the prediction that the Higgs boson exists, so not finding it would be a big blow. Of course we can still go about using the Standard model for calculations and stuff with very good accuracy, but it wouldn't change the fact that there is a need to find a new theory because it would have failed on a pretty big prediction.
rawa1
1 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2011
then the gauge theory becomes unacceptable
Did you ever try to think, why the gauge theory cannot predict any special size/mass of Higgs boson? Well known hierarchy problem implies, that quantum corrections can make the mass of the Higgs particle arbitrarily large, since virtual particles with arbitrarily large energies are allowed in quantum mechanics.

http://en.wikiped..._problem

It's actually quite physical model under current situation, which we are facing by now at the LHC.

I don't want to play a devil's advocate for Standard Model, because I do believe, we have much better and more predicative models already, both formal (Heim's theory), both nonformal ones (dense aether theory) - but with respect to Higgs boson mass problem the Standard Model provides exactly what we are observing by now - i.e. nothing. If it would lead into some particular Higgs boson mass, it would be disproven already with LHC experiments, don't you think?
JIMBO
1 / 5 (3) Nov 25, 2011
The LHC is in the position of LIGO: Nothing Discovered, yet they publish exclusion limits on That Basis, else careers perish! If LIGO does not Directly detect grav waves, few will call for abandoning Gen.Rel., so many are its successes.
Completely disagree about the Higgs: It would be A Staggering defeat for the Std.Model, which has withstood every expt. test for 30 yrs, based upon the existence of the Higgs boson. Starting over is Not an option, for to modify the SM, & still reproduce its successes, is highly improbable.
The graveness of the situation is best illustrated by the recent exclusion of SUSY & extra dimensions, Essential for string theory. Nor were black holes seen. If the Higgs is not found, it will continue a dark period for theoretical particle physics going on 40yrs now.
rawa1
1 / 5 (4) Nov 25, 2011
If LIGO does not Directly detect grav waves
It cannot, gravitational waves are CMBR noise which is known for half of century. Whereas it's always possible, you can find at least something new with LIGO, you can never find something, which is known already. The CMBR noise plays a role of gravitons, fat strings, extradimensions, gravitational waves for mainstream physics.

The SUSY belongs into same cathegory, because the neutrino is actually a WIMP and a lightest photino too. Microblack holes are common atom nuclei, stabilized with extradimensions.

It means, the mainstream theorists are actually quite right - they just cannot recognize their own concepts in the everyday reality.
ggg
1 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2011
I still think the answer will be spirals. They are the only shape that is both a wave and a particle at the same time when they move through space. And it is that duality that we are seeking. Would create some difficult math though. Guess that wouldn't be desirable. They also exist as counter and counterclockwise waves; unlike anything else. It is also the simplest answer; but what does Occam know.
Callippo
5 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2011
I still think the answer will be spirals.
OK, what does it imply? http://imgs.xkcd....eory.png
ggg
1 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2011
Well I guess it would make energy a 'string' that exists in our 3 dimensions without needing 10 dimensions. The string shape would be a result of the acting forces within itself and external to itself; not something that exists of itself somehow. The string wouldn't need to vibrate to exist. It may allow us to unify our forces around gravity. It would require spin to be given more recognition than it gets. It might allow us to describe every process (other than how gravity exists). It should bring the world of the huge and the minuscule together; rather than having separate sciences. It should be experimentally testable.
How is it that we have spirals at every other level where forces are involved but not at the smallest?
vega12
not rated yet Nov 26, 2011
then the gauge theory becomes unacceptable
Did you ever try to think, why the gauge theory cannot predict any special size/mass of Higgs boson? Well known hierarchy problem implies, that quantum corrections can make the mass of the Higgs particle arbitrarily large, since virtual particles with arbitrarily large energies are allowed in quantum mechanics.


I and other physicists are well aware of the limitations and problems with the Higgs mechanism. But all theories have limitations, and part of science is knowing how well our theories work, and in what situations have our theories been tested. As much as you might not like some of the implications (most physicists don't "like" the hierarchy problem), that doesn't give us the right to just willy-nilly throw out a model that has been successful in all tested regimes so far.

Also, if it turns out that it is wrong, that is a problem with the particular gauge theory we have, not gauge theories in general.
Callippo
1 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2011
..that doesn't give us the right to just willy-nilly throw out a model that has been successful in all tested regimes so far..
If I remember well, it was just you, who wrote that the "the Standard model WOULD have the be fundamentally changed". In particular, if the gauge model predicts fuziness of Higgs and everything what we are measuring about it is really just a noise - why to throw out the theory, which works so well?
Callippo
1 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2011
On the contrary - I could ask instead, why physicists are struggling to find the Higgs boson so much, if their favorite theory explicitly predicts, it cannot exist and this theory is "successful in all tested regimes so far"? One explanation could be, the physicists don't believe/understand their own theories...
vega12
5 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
..that doesn't give us the right to just willy-nilly throw out a model that has been successful in all tested regimes so far..
If I remember well, it was just you, who wrote that the "the Standard model WOULD have the be fundamentally changed".

The difference is that in one case, rawa1 seems to think we should abandon it for personal reasons of taste or feelings for how the universe should be, not experimental; whereas if experimentally we can't find the Higgs, then we have experimental reasons for throwing it out/altering it.

Also, could you tell me what you mean by "[the Higgs] cannot exist"?
Callippo
1 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2011
rawa1 seems to think we should abandon it for personal reasons of taste or feelings for how the universe should be, not experimental
I doubt it, because rawa1 and me are the very same person and you just don't read it carefully enough.
could you tell me what you mean by [the Higgs] cannot exist
It's explained by rawa1 (Nov 24, 2011). The Higgs boson has no defined mass/size. It's rather mechanism, which manifests itself like the dark matter or fifth force at the planetary scale, like the field of virtual photons and Casimir force at the atomar scale and like the field of virtual quarks and Yukawa force at the elementary particle scale.
vega12
3 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2011
It's explained by rawa1 (Nov 24, 2011). The Higgs boson has no defined mass/size. It's rather mechanism, which manifests itself like the dark matter or fifth force at the planetary scale, like the field of virtual photons and Casimir force at the atomar scale and like the field of virtual quarks and Yukawa force at the elementary particle scale.

Again, this is just a matter of taste. The Higgs mechanism entails the introduction of a scalar particle (Higgs) such that it breaks the symmetry of the electroweak interaction to give rise to the familiar photon, and massive weak bosons. So you're right that is a mechanism, but that mechanism requires this scalar Higgs particle. Just because it's mass happens to be a parameter of the model doesn't mean it "cannot" exist (btw, size is a fuzzy concept in particle physics). Also, this is very much not like a 5th force because the Higgs mechanism doesn't introduce any new force carrying particles.
Callippo
1 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2011
because the Higgs mechanism doesn't introduce any new force carrying particles
what else the Higgs bosons are? It's called the Yukawa interaction.
Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2011
So you're right that is a mechanism, but that mechanism requires this scalar Higgs particle
In dense aether theory the only force is the pressure of radiation and the shielding of radiation (supergravity). Many particles are of composite nature, which brings the richness of force interactions into the macroscopic world.

http://aetherwave...age1.gif

But the elementary particles are too small and fuzzy for to have some internal structure. In this case the shielding force becomes proportional to the size of particle itself, not to size of some even smaller particle inside. Which means, the rest mass of force carrying bosons will depend on the size of shielding particle itself. These bosons can still exist, but they're too different each other. Got it?
Nerdyguy
3 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2011
"'Next year we will see the Higgs particle - or exclude its existence'"

This sounds oddly familiar. Deja Vu all over again?
Eric_B
3.6 / 5 (5) Nov 27, 2011
hey, folks...

like many prominent scientists of the past, i am a religious man.

i like metaphysics, theology and speculative hypotheses about special properties of consciousness, however...

when i come to a science website i want to talk and hear about science, you know, experiments with verifiable phenomena.

keep your personal drively goopta flaky newage nonsense to yourselves and go discuss to on a shirley mclaine blogsite.

or something...

or else!

so there!

and it takes one to know one, too!!!