The meeting, which was held in person, provided an opportunity to discuss advances related to the boson, an elementary particle discovered in 2012
September 13th, 2021
The Instituto de Física de Cantabria (IFCA, a joint CSIC-UC center) hosted last week a new edition of the scientific event "The Higgs Days at Santander"
in which 14 experts from several countries participated. This event has been held since 2008 to share advances in research on the Higgs boson
, the elementary particle that explains the origin of mass in the standard model of particle physics.
Under the slogan "Theory meets Experiment", researchers from several countries meet and share results, challenges and ideas about a field that "was not the end of history" after the discovery of the boson in 2012, but "the opposite", explains Sven Heinemeyer, coordinator of the event together with Alicia Calderón and Gervasio Gómez. When a new particle is found, "we have to check if it is as we had expected, if it can behave differently, its measurements, etc.".
According to Heinemeyer, "we still know very little; there are many possibilities, many interesting ideas, and we hope that in the coming years we can clarify more about how it behaves, as well as make the connection with other questions in Physics such as dark matter or gravitational waves". The researcher recalls that the boson "has meant a fundamental change" in this field of science and that "there is work for decades".
Between Monday, September 6 and Friday, September 10, experts working on both the theoretical side and on the CMS and ATLAS experiments at CERN (the world's largest European particle physics laboratory, located in Switzerland) were able to meet to "share experimental results - measurements that are becoming more precise every year - discuss new discoveries and their implications for our models.... talk about the details and ask questions to understand what the others are doing," says Heinemeyer, stressing the importance of the face-to-face meeting to take the pulse of the state of research on this fundamental issue in physics.
A long search
The Higgs boson or Higgs particle is named in honor of Peter Higgs, who together with other scientists proposed in 1964 the Higgs mechanism to explain the origin of the mass of elementary particles, which would give him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013. The boson has been the subject of a long search, which culminated in July 2012 with the first observation of the particle at CERN's LHC accelerator, through the ATLAS and CMS detectors.