Search for the Higgs: What’s next?

Aug 16, 2010
Status of Fermilab’s search for the Higgs particle.

In July, the particle collider experiments at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory revealed their latest search results for the elusive Higgs particle. Based on the analyses of data collected by the CDF and DZero experiments at Fermilab, scientists have ruled out about a quarter of the Higgs boson mass range allowed by previous experiments.

But just how close are the Fermilab experiments to finding the Higgs boson if it exists? This graphic and its squiggly lines indicate how the search will proceed.

The graphic shows a horizontal, solid line that indicates the prediction for the Higgs boson according to the Standard Model for a range of Higgs masses. The squiggly, solid line indicates the maximum amount of Higgs boson production allowed according to the latest data analyses. Where the squiggly line dips below the horizontal one, experimenters start to rule out the Standard Model .

The analysis of additional data already collected by the CDF and DZero experiments will make the squiggly line move downward. This will widen the exclusion regions, currently at 100-109 GeV and 158-175 GeV. It is near these exclusion regions that CDF and DZero scientists will most quickly discover or rule out a Higgs . To examine the remainder of the allowed region, the experiments need to collect more data. The next year or two will be very interesting.

Explore further: New insights found in black hole collisions

Source: DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

4.4 /5 (18 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New experiments constrain Higgs mass (w/Videos)

Mar 13, 2009

( -- The territory where the Higgs boson may be found continues to shrink. The latest analysis of data from the CDF and DZero collider experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermilab now ...

The hunt for the Higgs steps up a gear

Aug 28, 2008

The hunt for the Higgs boson, the most highly sought-after particle in physics, received a boost this month with the release of two new results from the Tevatron particle collider at the US Department of Energy's ...

Physicist's blog post rumors Higgs discovery at Fermilab

Jul 13, 2010

( -- A rumor that Fermilab’s Tevatron may have discovered evidence of a light Higgs boson wouldn't be the first unsupported speculation from Tommaso Dorigo, a physicist at the University of Padua ...

Recommended for you

New insights found in black hole collisions

Mar 27, 2015

New research provides revelations about the most energetic event in the universe—the merging of two spinning, orbiting black holes into a much larger black hole.

X-rays probe LHC for cause of short circuit

Mar 27, 2015

The LHC has now transitioned from powering tests to the machine checkout phase. This phase involves the full-scale tests of all systems in preparation for beam. Early last Saturday morning, during the ramp-down, ...

Swimming algae offer insights into living fluid dynamics

Mar 27, 2015

None of us would be alive if sperm cells didn't know how to swim, or if the cilia in our lungs couldn't prevent fluid buildup. But we know very little about the dynamics of so-called "living fluids," those ...

Fluctuation X-ray scattering

Mar 26, 2015

In biology, materials science and the energy sciences, structural information provides important insights into the understanding of matter. The link between a structure and its properties can suggest new ...

Hydrodynamics approaches to granular matter

Mar 26, 2015

Sand, rocks, grains, salt or sugar are what physicists call granular media. A better understanding of granular media is important - particularly when mixed with water and air, as it forms the foundations of houses and off-shore ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

4.3 / 5 (4) Aug 16, 2010
Well since the stuff based around Higgs is highly theoretical, we might not even find the flipping thing... which would probably be better since some scientists have gotten too comfortable with current *some* theories.

As for what to do, well, if we do find it, figure out how it works, figure out how to use it.
If we could figure out how to manipulate it, we could add and subtract mass. Blackholes, extremely light materials due to little mass.

Still... with those chances... not holding my breath really.
5 / 5 (2) Aug 17, 2010
Hunnter: The point though (and you alluded to it a bit) is that results, whether negative or positive, teach us something. And if they don't find the Higgs, it's back to the drawing board. All knowledge is eventually useful in some way.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2010
I know we can't predict which research will lead to significant advances in knowledge, but this search for the Higgs is like the standard model is rumored to be losing its job and its just waiting for a official notice.
5 / 5 (2) Aug 17, 2010
the standard model is rumored to be losing its job and its just waiting for a official notice
Yes, after being asked to resign Higgs boson threatened a wrongful termination suit, forcing administrators to reconsider.
1 / 5 (5) Aug 17, 2010
Higgs model has more then single formulations: Higgs model in classical physics is based on different phenomena, then Higgs-Anderson model in boson condensates and its technical derivation consists in a mere reshuffling of degrees of freedom by transforming the Higgs Lagrangian in a gauge-invariant manner.


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. Physicists are mixing various concepts and mechanisms, which leads in prediction of many types of Higgs bosons of different rest mass, thus making such hypothesis untestable.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 18, 2010
But standart particle worked so far. And there are particles with mass and without it. Something definetly is happening there. Something is curving spacetime around those objects. Whenewer its virtual particle of gravity force or something else doesnt really matter that much. Either way it teaches us one of the most important lesson about reality we live in. Look what knowledge of electromagnetism brought to us (digital civilization), the knowledge of weak and strong force (fission and fusion). The game Mass Effect is not exactly fiction, if we harnes control over local gravity fields it would lett us travel not only light speeds, but super light speeds, make materials with exotic properties.. it would be revolution of hardly imaginable proportions.
not rated yet Aug 19, 2010
Physicists are mixing various concepts and mechanisms, which leads in prediction of many types of Higgs bosons of different rest mass, thus making such hypothesis untestable.
No, that would create an environment of greater testibility. It's tough to declare one particle, it's far tougher to declare 4.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.