Scientists examine Higgs boson to determine role in particle ecosystem
Scientists believe that the Higgs boson's role in the particle ecosystem could open.

Tyler MacDonald | 4 hours ago

Although the Higgs field can effectively explain why some particles are huge and others aren't, not all of the predictions of the Higgs theory have been proven experimentally. Now, scientists on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider and examining the Higgs boson closely to determine how it fits into the particle ecosystem.

"We know that the Higgs interacts with massive force-carrying particles, like the W boson, because that's how we originally discovered it," said Patty McBride, a scientist from the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. "Now we're trying to understand its relationship with fermions."

Fermions click together to create invisible atom scaffolding, while bosons are the physical manifestation of natural forces. Of particular interest to modern scientists is the relationship between the Higgs boson and the top quarks.

"The relationship between the Higgs and the top quark is particularly interesting because the top quark is the most massive particle ever discovered," McBride said. "As the 'giver of mass,' the Higgs boson should be enormously fond of the top quark."

Shedding light on the relationship between the Higgs boson and the top quark could open the door to a new path of physics.

"Pinning down this coupling will tell us a lot about the behavior of the Higgs and how it might also interact with other particles we haven't discovered, like dark matter," saidFermilab Deputy Director Joe Lykken. "Deeply understanding how the Higgs interacts with known particles could help lead us to physics beyond the Standard Model."

The findings were published on the pre-print server arXiv.

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