Scientists Observed the Predicted Higgs Boson Particle Decay


Almost six years ago, scientists discovered the elusive Higgs boson particle. After continuous studies have been performed using the largest particle accelerator in the world, they have finally discovered the particle’s mysterious, yet pretty common, decaying process.

By using the Large Hadron Collider, the scientists have gathered data which allowed them to catch the boson decaying into two smaller particles. These are a bottom quark and an antibottom quark, its antimatter equivalent. The Standard Model used for particle physics predicts that this particle, the Higgs boson will decay into the second-heaviest of the quark flavors, the bottom quarks, about 60 percent of the time.

Since this Standard Model has been put together, physicists began trying to observe it in reality, looking to either confirm it or debunk it. This meant looking for new physics that would explain the discrepancy

However, they often encountered problems because this process is incredibly difficult to observe in action. When two protons collide, they produce the Higgs boson. When two gluons from two protons begin to fuse and produce two top quarks, they can recombine into a Higgs boson.

Particle Lifespan

The lifespan of this particle is about one septillionth of a second, after which it begins to decay into less massive particles. By detecting these particles, particle physicists were able to infer the existence of the Higgs boson.

Because this particle exists so briefly, so far it was impossible to decide on the bottom quarks’ origins. They either appear through the Higgs boson’s decaying processor through the background processes occurring after proton collisions.

In order to catch the decay, ATLAS and CMS combined their data obtained through two runs of the Large Hadron Collider, performed analyses and found bottom quarks which they then had to trace back to a Higgs boson.


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