Is this Higgs field model accurate

Simmering rumor mill about god particles

There is increasing speculation that CERN will announce on December 13th that it has discovered the first traces of the Higgs boson

The rumor mill of particle physicists, scientists and "Higgs fans" is simmering, once again cooking is hotter than what is eaten. What some bloggers and journalists are currently serving up does not have to be to everyone's taste. Because, in their opinion, CERN will come up with the information next week that it has found the first indications of the existence of Higgs bosons, the ultimate god particle, as physicists jokingly call the Higgs particle. The fact is: In Zurich (Switzerland) there will really be a meeting on December 12th and 13th, which will culminate in a secret meeting and culminate in a large auditorium discussion, in which the Higgs boson is the only focus in each case. Only a few know the current data situation, and what will be announced on December 13th will remain top secret for the time being.

The nervousness grows. The voltage increases. Physicists, particle physicists, astronomers, cosmologists, yes researchers from all disciplines and hobby scientists around the globe have been waiting for the redeeming news for several months, for the confirmation of the scientific model of all models. At the center of their interest is an unknown particle that is the key to quantum mechanical wisdom and, as the generally last postulated particle, the only one that has not yet been proven in experiments, is supposed to confirm the correctness of the previous standard model of elementary particle physics: the Higgs particle or Higgs boson.

Higgs characteristics

Named after the English physicist Peter Higgs (born 1929), who predicted it almost simultaneously with other researchers in 1964, science ascribes a unique quality to the Higgs particle. It is a quality that is supposed to explain the quantity of the particles.

The idea behind it is as simple as it is ingenious, but at the same time extremely difficult to prove. According to the theory, the particles in the subcosm get their mass by moving through a force field, the so-called Higgs field. In it, Higgs bosons are the characteristic mediator particles that have neither a spin nor a charge.

While the Higgs field slows the movement of all particles, electrons, neutrinos, quarks, but also W and Z bosons gain mass at the same time. Since the field reacts more strongly to certain types of particles than to others, different masses are created. In a simple formula, this means: the more intensely a particle interacts with the Higgs field, the greater its mass becomes.

In this context, of course, the question inevitably arises where the mass-generating Higgs boson itself gets its mass from - and how it does this. Even if the models of the elementary particle physicists show that Higgs bosons de facto have a mass, nobody knows exactly how big it is. The "Nature" editor and book author Joanne Baker sums up the dilemma.

"Experimentally, only a lower limit was determined, which is given by the energies currently achievable in accelerators. The fact that the Higgs particle has not yet been observed there means that it has not yet been possible to advance into the corresponding energy and thus mass regions. We know so no more than that the Higgs boson has to be quite massive. "

Searching for particles and traces

Based on the existence of massive Higgs bosons, the hopes of particle physicists have been directed for some time to the experiments in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva.

The detection of real Higgs particles is complicated, the search for traces of them is no less difficult, because they only reveal themselves in the detector for an ultrashort time and quickly run away again together with a conglomerate of other particles. Anyone who wants to distill out those treacherous Higgs bosons from this billion sea of ​​particle traces not only needs highly sensitive systems like at CERN, but also an enormous amount of time, money and luck, i.e. almost without exception things that researchers usually (see one perhaps even from the latter) seldom have an abundance.

Because even though protons collide with other particles 600 million times every second, physicists expect a Higgs particle only once per minute. "A needle in a haystack, on the other hand, is easier to find," states Joachim Mnich from the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) soberly.

Mysterious session

However, according to the US magazine Wired (online), this could already have happened. As Wired reports on its website, it looks like physicists from the LHC gave themselves an extraordinary gift for Christmas.

According to rumors that are currently circulating, physicists are said to have used the LHC detectors ATLAS and CMS to record signal data that could correspond to Higgs particles. According to Wired, these are particles with a mass of 125 giga-electron volts (GeV / c²). For comparison: the rest energy of a proton is about 0.94 GeV / c²).

When Wired and some bloggers point out that the CERN Council convened a meeting at the highest scientific level on December 12th and 13th on the occasion of the new data situation, this information actually corresponds to the agenda of CERN. Thereafter, a two-day conference is planned in Zurich, at which the combined data from the ATLAS and CMS experiments will be available and a publication of the measurements is promised.

As can be seen from the agenda, on the sidelines of the CERN conference on December 13th, there will be an additional secret session ("Restricted Session") in "Room Georges Charpak / Room F", during which those responsible for the ATLAS and CMS experiments will be behind locked doors should have their say again.

Obviously, no less a person than the particle physicist and General Director of CERN, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, invited to the final meeting of the CERN Councils. The Rundmail Heuers published a few days ago by the blogger and theoretical US physicist Lubos Motl shows that a two-hour seminar will be held in the main auditorium of CERN at 2 p.m. at the end of the meeting. During this event, the researchers will focus on the status quo of the ATLAS and CMS experiments - with a particular focus on the search for the Higgs boson.

According to Heuer, there is enough data on the one hand to show the significant progress made in the search for the Higgs boson, but on the other hand not enough to make a final judgment on the existence or non-existence of Higgs particles, so This year in the e-mail about the topic of the seminar, the date of which has now been officially confirmed.

Longing for the sensation

The fact that, in view of the time required and the obvious secrecy, many bloggers and specialist journalists get carried away with speculation is therefore not surprising, especially since the rumor mill has been simmering several times in the recent past with a view to the discovery of the Higgs boson. The last time in April of this year, when four physicists claimed to have found a weak Higgs particle as part of the ATLAS experiment. So far, they have not provided any scientific proof of this.

This time around, bloggers like Motl see far more reason to be optimistic. After months of frustration, the LHC researchers could have succeeded in finally catching a Higgs particle: "The chances are high (but not necessarily 100 percent) that after the talks either the discovery or some far-reaching ones Findings are announced that are really good quality and unexpected. "

A quick look at viXra log, a blog of the viXra org e-print offshoot, reveals that the discussion is now spreading wide. Even a little Twitter research reveals the longing for the sensation.

How massive is a Higgs?

The debate also involves the question of how large the mass of the Higgs boson per se is, and whether the current level of performance of the LHC detectors is high enough to detect any potential Higgs bosons at all. Based on the measurements made with ATLAS and CMS so far, the particle physicists at CERN now assume that the mass of a Higgs boson is 95 percent less than the originally planned 476 GeV / c². In the hunt for the Higgs boson, the physicists concentrate on a window that is only 114 to 141 GeV / c² is great.

Thanks to the data, the chances of success are not that bad, the press officer at CERN, James Gillies, told BBC News. "If you look at the data, we now have five times more of it than we were able to present at the summer conference."

The diligent blogger Philip Gibbs is also full of confidence in his current web log. According to his observation, there is increasing evidence that CERN will discover a strong signal at 125 GeV / c in the next week² will proclaim with a significance of two to three sigmas. Gibbs suspects that CERN will also point out that the data situation is not sufficiently informative for the detection of Higgs bosons.

Should the rumor prove to be true in eight days, that Higgs particles at a mass level of only 125 GeV / c² According to Oakland science writer Adam Mann, it will raise new questions.

"A 125 GeV / c²Higgs particles would be lighter than the simplest models predict and would require more complex theories, such as supersymmetry, which postulates the existence of a heavy partner for all known particles. "

Don't jump to conclusions

Although the CERN physicists ran in the range from 130 to 150 GeV / c² To date, far more events than expected have been recorded, which also point to the presence of Higgs bosons, but for the time being they hold back on jumping to conclusions and interpretations.

Only the supposedly conservative and serious BBC is boldly advancing. A few days ago she reported that the CERN scientists are waiting with "bated breath" for the December seminar in Geneva, which will "mark the beginning of the end of the hunt for the Higgs particle".

Guido Tonelli is anything but pessimistic. The particle physicist and spokesman for the CMS collaboration recently told the BBC that the detectors' sensitivity was sufficient to detect the Higgs boson. If it really exists, its appearance or traces will be recorded. But if there is nothing there, no data will be received either. "For the first time it comes down to a yes or no," said Tonelli. Since the measurements are currently not sufficient to make a final judgment, the data from ATLAS and CMS will have to be combined and checked again and again in the future. After all, the experiment is now moving into a phase that is "extremely interesting".

Implications for Astrophysics

Nobody can yet imagine what would happen if the Higgs bosons, as the pillars of the standard model of particle physics at the LHC, were never found and it remained completely unclear where the other elementary particles get their mass from.

In contrast, the proof of a single god particle would prove the existence of the Higgs field. Because depending on how intensively the elementary particles known to us interact with this field, they become heavier or lighter, they are electrically charged or not. In short, all properties of the particles can be plausibly explained against the background that the entire universe is completely and continuously permeated by this field.

If Higgs particles could be detected in the LHC experiment, the astrophysicists in particular would receive valuable information about the primordial phase of the cosmos. If the Higgs field model is confirmed, then it is obvious that the fundamental properties of the smallest particles are closely connected with the development of the expanding universe. After all, the Higgs field plays a particularly important role at the time when the universe is still much, much smaller than an atomic nucleus - only which role exactly remains a mystery at present.

Book recommendation: At this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, CERN presented the very readable and worth seeing publication LHC: Large Hadron Collider, which was created in cooperation with the United Nations Educational Cultural Organization and UNESCO Publishing. The book is available for purchase in stores.

(Harald fence)

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