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Discovery of the Higgs boson  
Physicists on the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced on July 4 that they have observed a new particle. This is generally considered as the discovery of the Higgs boson, but whether the particle has the properties of the predicted Higgs boson remains to be seen.

More than 1,700 people from U.S. institutions - including 89 American universities and seven U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories - helped design, build and operate the LHC accelerator and its four particle detectors. The United States, through DOE’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation, provides support for research and detector operations at the LHC and also supplies computing for the ATLAS and CMS experiments. Stony Brook University is represented at ATLAS by P&A faculty members Rod Engelman, John Hobbs, Robert L. McCarthy, Michael Rijssenbeek and Dmitri Tsybychev, together with posdocs and graduate students from the Department.

The CMS and ATLAS experiments announced last year seeing tantalizing hints of a new particle in their hunt for the Higgs. Since resuming data-taking in March 2012, the experiments have more than doubled their collected data, leading to the latest announcment. The result is consistent with the limits on the Higgs boson mass reported on July 2 by another large collaboration at Fermilab's Tevatron. Faculty from our Department, led by Paul Grannis, played a key role in the DZero experiment at Fermilab and more than 25 Ph.D. students did thesis research there .

The Standard Model of particle physics has proven to explain correctly the elementary particles and forces of nature through more than four decades of experimental tests. But it cannot, without the Higgs boson, explain how most of these particles acquire their mass, a key ingredient in the formation of our universe.

Click on the image to see a candidate Higgs Decay to four muons recorded by ATLAS in 2012. (Image credit: ATLAS WEB site.)

Links to all "What's new" sections: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and the latest.


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