THE

Higgs boson is running out of places to hide

In Tech, World News on August 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

By Lisa Grossman

The elusive Higgs boson, thought to give all other particles mass, is running out of places to hide. A new deluge of data from the Large Hadron Collider‘s twin particle detectors has ruled out a wide range of possible masses for the theoretical particle.

The Higgs is the last undiscovered particle in the standard model of physics, the leading theory for how particles and forces interact.

Data from the LHC’s ATLAS and CMS detectors have now ruled out – with a confidence level of 95 per cent – all masses for the Higgs between 145 and 466 gigaelectronvolts (GeV). That covers the bulk of the mass range that is easiest for physicists to explore.

“We’re ruling out the easy bits, and we’re leaving the harder bits still to study,” says James Gillies, spokesman for CERN, the particle physics lab in Switzerland where the LHC is based. “There’s still a lot of space left, but it’s the space that’s harder for us to analyse.”

Hiding out

The announcement, made on Monday at the biennial Lepton-Photon conference in Mumbai, India, came on the heels of a hopeful whiff of the Higgs announced at the Europhysics Conference in…

Full article…

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