Of Particular Significance

Why A Lightweight Higgs Particle is a Sensitive Creature — Part 1

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 02/06/2012

In a post from January 27, 2012, concerning the possibility that the Higgs particle might have exotic decays (i.e. decays of a sort not expected if the Higgs is of the “ simplest [i.e. “Standard Model”] type), I described a lightweight Higgs particle as a sensitive creature.  We might think of it as the canary in the accelerator tunnel, easily affected by new phenomena that we might otherwise overlook at the Large Hadron Collider [LHC].  It has the potential to give us our first indication of the existence of new particles and/or forces .

But what makes it so delicate?

The reason that a lightweight Higgs particle is a sensitive creature is this:  it … decays …  slowly …

Slowly??!??  In what sense can one think of a particle that typically disappears in 0.000,000,000,000,000,000,001 seconds — less than the time it takes light to cross from one side of an atom to the other — as durable?!?

Click here to read more.

Share via:


Leave a Reply


Buy The Book

A decay of a Higgs boson, as reconstructed by the CMS experiment at the LHC


The idea that a field could be responsible for the masses of particles (specifically the masses of photon-like [“spin-one”] particles) was proposed in several papers

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 04/16/2024

Although I’ve been slowly revising the Higgs FAQ 2.0, this seemed an appropriate time to bring the Higgs FAQ on this website fully into the

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 04/15/2024