On 28 August 2018, six years after the discovery of the Higgs boson, physicists at CERN unveiled their latest breakthrough.
The Standard Model of particle physics predicts that about 60% of the time a Higgs boson will decay to a pair of bottom quarks. CERN has just announced that this decay has at last been observed.
The discovery supports The Standard Model – which is built upon the idea that the Higgs field endows quarks and other fundamental particles with mass.
Spotting this common Higgs-boson decay channel was very difficult. There are many other ways of producing bottom quarks in proton–proton collisions making it hard to isolate the Higgs-boson decay signal from all the background “noise”.
“This observation is a milestone in the exploration of the Higgs boson. It shows that the ATLAS and CMS experiments have achieved deep understanding of their data and a control of backgrounds that surpasses expectations. ATLAS has now observed all couplings of the Higgs boson to the heavy quarks and leptons of the third generation as well as all major production modes,” said Karl Jakobs, spokesperson of the ATLAS collaboration.
“Since the first single-experiment observation of the Higgs boson decay to tau-leptons one year ago, CMS, along with our colleagues in ATLAS, has observed the coupling of the Higgs boson to the heaviest fermions: the tau, the top quark, and now the bottom quark. The superb LHC performance and modern machine-learning techniques allowed us to achieve this result earlier than expected,” said Joel Butler, spokesperson of the CMS collaboration.
Paper on Higgs boson decay (in English)
The Standard Model explained (in English)
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