Physicists working on two different CERN experiments at both ATLAS and CMS have discovered what appears to be evidence of top quarks interacting with the Higgs boson.
According to Karl Jacobs, who recently spoke at a press release in Italy on behalf of those who are involved with the Large Hadron Collider’s ATLAS project, the intriguing new results “give a strong indication that the Higgs boson has a key role in the large value of the top quark mass,” as Geek Wire reports.
According to UPI, the results of these independent experiments that have seen top quarks pairing with the Higgs boson are extremely rare and nothing short of astounding, according to University of Virginia physicist Chris Neu.
“Higgs boson production is rare — but Higgs production with top quarks is rarest of them all, amounting to only about 1 percent of the Higgs boson events produced at the LHC.”
Neu described how physicists carefully examined all of the data that had been collected from the ATLAS and CMS experiments before finally reaching the conclusion that there was evidence that the Higgs boson had appeared simultaneously with the top quarks.
“A top quark decays almost exclusively into a bottom quark and a W boson. The Higgs boson, on the other hand, has a rich spectrum of decay modes, including decays to pairs of bottom quarks, W bosons, tau leptons, photons and several others. This leads to a wide variety of signatures in events with two top quarks and a Higgs boson. We pursued each of these and combined the results to produce our final analysis.”
While the particles themselves are reported to have decayed much too quickly to have been directly observed, physicists were able to carefully look at the many different decay paths that the quarks and the Higgs boson could have taken while analyzing proton-proton collision energies of 7, 8 and 13 TeV, as Physics World reports.
Fermilab director Joe Lykken noted that as physicists get to grips with this new discovery and conduct further analysis on it, what they glean from these experiments may end up determining whether we need a whole new model of physics that deviates from the Standard Model.
“Pinning down this coupling will tell us a lot about the behavior of the Higgs and how it might also interact with other particles we haven’t discovered, like dark matter. Deeply understanding how the Higgs interacts with known particles could help lead us to physics beyond the Standard Model.”
Details of the new CERN experiments at the Large Hadron Collider that show the Higgs boson interacting with top quarks can be read in the journal Physical Review Letters.