Anticipation has been building around the world that the discovery of the Higgs boson will be formally announced at the International Conference on High Energy Physics 2012 being held in Melbourne over July 4 - 11. This is a very exciting time for people in the particle physics world, like us here at the Australian Synchrotron, but some might wonder what all the fuss is about.
There are a number of interesting articles and videos floating around online at the moment, and as a collaborator on particle physics projects around the world, we thought it would be interesting for us to share a selection of these. Please feel free to click on the links below to find out more.
The Higgs Boson Explained A great animation for people new to particle physics - PhD Comics
An interview with Australian Synchrotron scientist, Mark Boland and others - ABC Radio National, AM with Tony Eastley
What is the Higgs boson 'God' particle and why is it important? - 774 ABC Melbourne interview
Is the Higgs boson a reality? - Interview by Fairfax Media
About the announcement - guardian.co.uk
Can a seventeen-mile-long collider unlock the universe? - The New Yorker
Comment from eminent British Physicist, Brian Cox - bbc.co.uk/news
How the Australian Synchrotron is involved - theage.com.au
Higgs boson mural @ CERN - a time lapse video from artist Josef Kristofoletti
The Higgs: boring, or the dawn of new physics - COSMOS magazine article
What if it wasn't the Higgs boson?
Serguei Ganjour from the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energies Commission and Martin White, research fellow in the experimental particle physics group at the University of Melbourne, were interviewed recently by Shane Huntington for the university's Up Close podcast series.
Here are some of their comments.
Serguei Ganjour: "We are quite sure we have detected a new particle ... however, we need more data. That's what we're going to do next year. ... We don't know for sure whether it's a Higgs boson predicted by the standard model because we need to measure the properties of this particle. We need more data for this. We have to measure how this particle couples with the other particles; with the fermions and with the bosons."
Martin White: "If we do this more detailed work I think we'll find that it is a type of Higgs boson, but it might be a Higgs boson coming from a more exotic theory [than the standard model]. Supersymmetry is a popular alternative, and we're looking for that directly. That would have five Higgs bosons. So we'd have seen one of them, but there are four more there. ... I think we'll be looking at theories which, maybe, have extra particle content, extra symmetries in nature or else; but the basic framework [of the standard model] is intact."
Serguei Ganjour: "[It] will be much more exciting if this is not Higgs boson or, at least, it's not a standard model Higgs boson. This will give us additional momentum to move toward new discoveries."