This week sees a major physics conference in Italy, the Rencontres de Moriond 2013 Electroweak session. It’s notable because the LHC experimentalists involved in the search for the Higgs boson are presenting their latest results. (There are also many other things being presented — less high-profile, but no less important!) I won’t give too many details of what has been presented, since there are plenty of other places on the web you can read about it, but certainly a quick overview is in order.
When last we left the Higgs search, it was November, and the experimentalists had just presented the results of analyzing the data the LHC had collected in the later half of summer 2012, combined in some cases with earlier data.
Of the various ways (channels) the standard model Higgs boson can decay, the experiments are looking most closely at these five:
- \(H\to\gamma\gamma\) (two photons)
- \(H\to WW\to ll\nu\nu\) (two leptons and two neutrinos)
- \(H\to ZZ\to 4l\) (four leptons)
- \(H\to \tlp\talp\) (two tau leptons)
- \(H\to \btq\btaq\) (bottom and antibottom quark)
Remember that if the particle discovered is really the standard model Higgs boson, it …