The mystery of the origin of matter seems to have been solved. At the middle of last week, CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, announced the discovery of a new particle that could be the long sought-after Higgs boson. The particle has a mass of about 126 gigaelectron volts (GeV), roughly that of 126 protons. "Almost half a century has passed since the existence of the Higgs boson was first postulated and now it seems that we at last have the evidence we have been looking for. What we have found perfectly fits the predicted parameters of the Higgs boson," says Professor Dr. Volker Bscher of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The Higgs boson is important to our current fundamental theory of physics as it explains why the elementary building blocks of matter have a mass at all. Initial indications that the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) were going to lead to a breakthrough were documented in December 2011. "We have since corroborated the recorded signal, and the new data demonstrate with a high level of significance the presence of a Higgs-like particle in the region we expected," explains Bscher.
The new evidence comes from an enormously large volume of data that has been more than doubled since December 2011. According to CERN, the LHC collected more data in the months between April and June 2012 than in the whole of 2011. In addition, the efficiency has been improved to such an extent that it is now much easier to filter out Higgs-like events from the several hundred million particle collisions that occur every second.
The data analyzed by the ATLAS detector, to which the Experimental Particle and Astroparticle Physics (ETAP) working group in Mainz made a significant contribution, found an excess of Higgs-like particles in all of the final states studied. "The rapid and yet careful analysis of the new data required a strong commitment over the recent weeks and months, and so we are especially
|Contact: Professor Dr. Volker Bscher|
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz