Evidence unearthed at CERN of a rare form of Higgs boson decay may be exactly what scientists need to prove the existence of particles beyond those predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics — indirectly, at least.
Speaking at the Large Hadron Collider Physics conference last week, researchers are working on a pair of CERN experiments – atlas And CMS – He said The combined data sets provide the first evidence for the decay of the Higgs boson into a Z (neutral vector) boson Weak force) and a futon.
Higgs bosons decay in different ways. It can split into four electrons, for example, or a pair of its heavier electron cousin, muon. It is also possible for the Higgs boson to decay into two photons, but this is where things start to get complicated and weird: the Higgs boson does not directly decay into two photons.
Instead of going from the Higgs directly to the photons, “the decay processes continue via an intermediate ‘ring’ of ‘virtual’ particles that pop in and out of existence and cannot be directly detected. These virtual particles could include new, as-yet-undiscovered particles interacting with the Higgs boson.” “.
As with decaying into two photons, the Higgs boson that decays into a Z boson and a photon pass through the same rings of virtual particles, which are likely to be undetected. That’s not all either: the ATLAS/CMS results also indicate that the Standard Model of particle physics, which the Higgs boson was supposed to have completed, is in fact referring to theories that extend the Standard Model.
According to the Standard Model and CERN mentioned, about 0.15 percent of the Higgs boson should decay into a Z boson and a photon, but the data suggests that it actually occurs in about 6.6 percent of the decay captured by the Large Hadron Collider. In theoretical models that extend the Standard Model to other particles, the Higgs Z boson/photon decay rate differs from the 0.15 percent predicted by the Standard Standard Model. In other words, something interesting and potentially unexplored is happening.
“Through a careful combination of the individual results of ATLAS and CMS, we have taken a step forward towards solving yet another mystery of the Higgs boson,” said ATLAS Physics Coordinator Pamela Ferrari.
Of course, there is also a certainty of this discovery to evaluate, which is not as certain as the discovery of the Higgs boson itself by CERN scientists in 2012. While evidence of the Higgs boson was given a statistical significance of 5-Sigma (roughly equivalent to a 1 in 3.5 million chance that it would be discovered was wrong), the detection of the Z boson/photon is only modulated by 3.4-Sigma – still a very low chance of it being a false observation, but greater than the detection of the Higgs boson itself.
In other words, science goes on hoping that more Higgs observations will help clear things up. “This study is a powerful test of the Standard Model,” said CMS Physics. “With the third ongoing run of the LHC and the future High Luminosity Collider, we will be able to improve the accuracy of this test and investigate even more rare Higgs decay.” Coordinator Florencia Canelli. ®
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