Currently the most sought-after new particle is the Higgs boson. It is the only particle predicted by the highly successful Standard Model, which has yet to be found experimentally.
The discovery of this last missing particle is of utmost importance for particle physics as it will allow for a full test of the Standard Model, and give an answer to the origin of mass.
The two main important fields to be studied for an eventual discovery of the Higgs boson are further constraints on the allowed mass of the Higgs boson through electroweak radiative corrections on other particles and a search for its direct production.
A precise measurement of the W boson mass together with a detailed knowledge of the mass of the top quark is sensitive to the Higgs boson mass. Extrapolating the current performance of the Tevatron Collider, it will be possible for CDF to measure the W boson mass to +-25 MeV.
This will by itself be the most accurate measurement in the world. Together with an anticipated precision of +-2 GeV of the to p quark mass it will be possible to predict the mass of the Higgs boson to a relative error of 30%, thus substantially narrowing down the search window.
The Higgs decay modes depend on the Higgs mass and so this constraint will determine the Higgs search strategy. The direct search for the Higgs boson will give one important and exciting intermediate step. Top quarks can be produced not only in pairs (as they were discovered in 1995) but also singly through an electroweak vertex.
This production mode has so far not been discovered due to a smaller production probability. In its final state, this process is identical to a Higgs boson decay into two bottom quarks produced together with a W boson.
Since the expected production probability for Higgs bosons is an order of magnitude smaller compared to the singly produced top quarks means that having the expertise to find single top production is an essential milestone to be able to discover the Higgs boson.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particle physics/higgs boson
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particle physics/fermion
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particle physics/quarks
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