Hunting for the fugitive Higgs boson at the world's particle colliders

March 20th, 2012
For nearly a half-century, physicists have chased the elusive Higgs boson, a hypothetical particle thought responsible for giving mass to matter, a critical but still unproven component of the long-standing Standard Model of particle physics.

Wade Fisher, Michigan State University assistant professor of physics, will discuss how scientists have used the world’s particle colliders to pursue – and nearly corner it – at 4:10 p.m. Thursday in MSU’s Biomedical and Physical Sciences Building, Room 1415.

He will discuss the basic motivations for the Higgs mechanism and the new results on Higgs boson searches from the Tevatron in Batavia, Ill., and the Large Hadron Collider on the border of France and Switzerland.

Fisher, who coordinates two teams of physicists at the Tevatron, recently presented the teams’ results at an Italian physics conference. The much-anticipated announcement, which was covered by international media and the New York Times, detailed a distinct Higgs-like signature that cannot be easily explained without the presence of something new, Fisher said.

“If what we're seeing really is the Higgs boson, it will be a major milestone for the world physics community and will place the keystone in the most successful particle physics theory in history," he said.

Provided by Michigan State University

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