Monday, 15 April 2013

2nd Higgs Boson?: Physicists debate the possibility of a new particle

2nd Higgs Boson?: Physicists debate the possibility of a new particle, The discovery of the Higgs boson is indeed real, but physicists aren't sure about whether the new particle they've found is going to fit their predictions or not. A report from on Saturday, April 13, 2013, reports that the data, so far, suggest that the Higgs is not representing any surprises, but that doesn't mean it won't in the future.

The Higgs boson is the particle thought to explain just how other particles get their mass. With that being said, physicists at the April meeting of the American Physical Society said that there still might be a second Higgs bosons lurking around out there.

There could be even more than two.

"There's a large number of theoretical models that predict, actually, that this Higgs field is more complicated," said Markus Klute, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Some of these theories predict that there could be five or more Higgs bosoons of different masses, said Klute.

It was confirmed by physicists back in March of 2013 that a new particle was discovered at the world's largest atom smasher (the Large Hadron Collider or LHC), and it is, in fact, the Higgs boson. The particle weighs about 126 times the mass of a proton, appears to fit the Standard Model of physics, the dominant theory of particle physics.

In that model, the Higgs boson is related to the Higgs field. That is the energy field that pervades space and it is actually thought to imbue many particles with mass.

The so-called "vanilla" Higgs has been much of a disappointment to physicists hoping that they would find something to upend their theories.

"Sometime in November, I was depressed a little bit by the fact that everything lines up so well," Klute said. "They call this 'post-discovery depression.'"

Researchers still say there is more to learn about the particle, and that includes whether it there could be a second Higgs boson or more. Variations may even be hiding in the data collected already.

"As far as 'Is the Higgs standard or not standard,' we're not in the game yet," said Michael Peskin, a physicists at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University. "We will be in the game later this decade, but right now it's just an open question."

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