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Higgs boson possibly caught in act of never-before-seen transformation

Higgs boson simulation
A simulation illustrates Higgs boson decay in the Large Hadron Collider.
(Image: © Lucas Taylor/CMS)

Scientists may have observed the Higgs boson doing a new trick: creating pairs of muons.

When the Higgs boson was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012, it was the final piece of Standard Model of particle physics puzzle, a particle that had been— long theorized to exist alongside quarks, electrons, neutrinos, muons, gluons, photons and the other known particles, but never before seen. Its role: the physical manifestation of the Higgs field, a feature of the universe that physicists believe endows particles with mass. Particles that wade through the field as if it were super-thick molasses, have greater mass than those that zip through more easily. 

Another way to look at it: The greater the mass, the more strongly that elementary particle interacts, or couples, with the Higgs boson (and its field). 

One way to prove a coupling between Higgs and other particles is to look at its decay products. The existence of the Higgs boson is fleeting — once it pops up, the particle "lives" for just 15.6 thousand-billion-billions (1.56x10^-22) of a second — almost immediately breaking apart into other particles. 

Every time physicists spot a new Higgs-decay particle, that proves a "coupling" between the Higgs and the particles that come out of its decay, physicists say. And that coupling proves that the Higgs field does indeed imbue the emergent particle with mass. 

That's why since the Higgs' discovery, researchers have been searching for hints of these decay products. 

Related: Strange Quarks and Muons, Oh My! Nature's Tiniest Particles Explained (Infographic)

Usually, the Higgs decays into more massive particles, like pairs of bottom quarks. But create enough Higgs bosons in the LHC and some of them should decay into the more lightweight particles to which it couples, like muons.

If the Higgs is decaying into two muons at the LHC, it's one of the rarest decays we could detect for the so-called "God particle." And it would prove muon-Higgs coupling for the first time — demonstrating once again that an elementary particle gets its mass from the Higgs field.

Right now, there's compelling but not yet overwhelming evidence that the Higgs is decaying into muon pairs in the LHC. Researchers working on data from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), one of the LHC's several particle detectors, found an "excess" of muons flying around the LHC.

The LHC, an environment full of intense, colliding protons, has lots of ways of accidentally producing muons. Proving that the Higgs is decaying into muon pairs means finding a subtle signal of extra muons against lots of background noise.

The excess doesn't amount to much, Spiropulu told Live Science. Looking at the raw data, even with a trained eye, you might not think anything of it. 

This figure rounds up the muon data that lead to the apparent detection. A tiny spike around 126 GeV on the x axis (the mass of a Higgs boson), hard to spot even with a trained eye, suggests that Higgs bosons were decaying into muon pairs in the detector. (Image credit: CMS/CERN)

But with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, the researchers showed that this tiny crop of unexplained muons has just a 0.27% of emerging by random chance. Physicists call that level of certainty that they've found a signal and not just noise "three sigma."

Related: The 12 strangest objects in the universe

Typically, a discovery isn't considered proven until it reaches "five sigma," equivalent to a 0.00006% chance of being an artifact of background noise. So Spiropulu was careful to say that a Higgs-muon coupling hasn't been proven yet.

Researchers working on ATLAS, a related LHC experiment, also found evidence for Higgs-muon coupling, but at just two sigma. That amounts to a 4.5% chance their signal was just background noise.

Still, the CMS discovery —— posted July 29 to the CMS website —— is reason to start getting excited. If more data pushes the confidence level to five sigma, Spiropulu said, it could help confirm an exponential relationship between the mass of a Higgs decay product and how often the boson decays into that particle. Physicists believe that the frequency of the Higgs boson's decay into each particle it couples with can be predicted by the square of that particle's mass, so heavier particles turn up much more often. This finding could help prove that if the frequency matches the prediction.

Spiropulu said that the LHC is now probably pushing the limits of its sensitivity in terms of detecting lighter Higgs decay products. The collider certainly isn't powerful or sensitive enough to produce enough Higgs-electron decays for anyone to measure, for example. And it's nowhere near the level of equipment needed to measure coupling between the Higgs and ultralight neutrinos.

Future detectors will have an advantage over the LHC, she said. The collider was built big and blunt, blasting protons at each other and covering a wide energy range, because physicists didn't yet know the mass of the Higgs — a critical detail for producing the particle.

Future colliders might be fine-tuned to the Higgs mass, and produce enough events to turn up even rarer couplings. And as the detectors get more sensitive, she said, they may turn up discrepancies with the Standard Model, leading the way toward new physics ideas.

Originally published on Live Science.

  • dizzo
    Can anyone point in the direction of the universe where the Big Bang occurred?

    Is it possible people created a Higgs muon that started motion in the universe?

    If motion first started on earth, it would explain why the cosmic red shift points to the earth at the center of the universe, maybe because motion first started here? see: ” The red shift hypothesis for quasars: Is the earth the center of the universe? - Astrophysics and Space Science August 1976. “ The recently generated Higgs boson muon experiment at LHC in Cern in 2012 ..the Higgs muon may have decayed faster than the speed of light as predicted.

    Could people have started motion in the universe by generating a particle that allegedly went faster than the speed of light ? (with a 10 Billion Dollar man made machine that is colder than the 3 kelvin universe vs the LHC at 2 kelvin and creating a particle that goes back into time - 15 billion + years ago, ) when there was no motion - just motionless static gravity fields and that particle started motion, (gravitational) instability, the microwave background was then formed as a result of the instability, that created dust particles and matter in the universe ?

    Was this the time the universe started to fall (expand) into another static gravity field past the microwave background?

    When was the last time the universe was at 2 Kelvin ?
    The Gravitational Instability Cosmological Theory on the Formation of the Universe

    When the Universe started to fall. When did Motion Start?
    (1) The expansion of the universe is a result of the " heat ' contained therein;

    (2) The source of the " heat " is the cosmic microwave radiation background at 3 Kelvin,
    wherein;

    (3) The microwave electro magnetic-nuclear energy was formed as a result of the
    interaction of two different static gravitational vacuum fields, causing gravitational instability and the motion, void of matter, at this time,

    wherein; static gravitational field ( Helium 4 ? ) (1) began to go into "motion".

    Therefore; the interaction of (2) motionless / static gravity vacuum fields, ( Helium 3 and Helium 4 ? ) could eventually create dust particles in the Universe that later form into stars, galaxies , planets, moons and other objects in or about their current locations.

    When did motion first start?

    Science knows the formation of matter in our universe was caused by the forces of the

    universe.

    These forces are:

    (1) The Force of Gravity

    (2) The Force of Electro Magnetism

    (3) The Strong Nuclear Force

    (4) The Weak Nuclear Force

    At some point in time, motion within the universe, had to begin.
    The paradox would be, what force could cause motion to begin, without moving in its
    present space-time ?

    The Gravitational Cosmological Theory was
    developed from an is rooted in the Einstein Steady State Theory and the Bondi-Gold-Hoyle Steady State Theory,

    Wherein the Steady State Theory the universe,
    contains more protons than electrons that
    create dust particles and
    galaxies formed in their current locations and the cosmic
    matter is recycled therein at the center of the galaxy furnace.
    ------------
    When the Universe started to fall:
    The Gravitational Instability Cosmological Theory on the Formation of the Universe.
    The Theory:
    (1) The expansion of the universe is a result of the " heat ' contained therein;
    (2) The source of the " heat " is the cosmic microwave radiation background at 3 Kelvin,
    wherein;
    (3) The microwave electro magnetic-nuclear energy was formed as a result of the interaction of two different static gravitational vacuum fields, ( Helium 2 and Helium 4 gravity ? ) causing gravitational instability and the motion, void of matter, at this time, wherein; static gravitational field (1) began to go into "motion".

    Therefore; the interaction of (2) motionless / static gravity vacuum fields, could eventually create dust particles in the Universe that later form into stars, galaxies , planets, moons and other objects in or about their current locations.


    Q: When did this motion start?
    A: If a neutral particle is able to resist the universal motion, in theory, that particle
    would go back in time. Going back in time the neutral particle would then enter into (1)
    of the (2) motionless-static gravity vacuum fields void of motion, and cause an unbalance
    and gravitational instability and this interaction would create motion and energy
    particles.
    Therefore; the interaction of (2) motionless / static gravity vacuum fields, ( now thanks to Mr Peebles, one Baryonic gravity vacuum field and one Non Baryonic vacuum field ) could eventually create dust particles in the Universe that later form into stars, galaxies , planets, moons and other objects in or about their current locations.

    Q: What causes a gravitational static vacuum field in the first place ?
    A: Pressure force is used to create a vacuum on Earth, perhaps an exotic something
    100,000 times weaker than the force of gravity decays, causing a static-motionless gravity vacuum field.

    Q: What created the motionless gravity vacuum fields in the first place ?

    A: Vacuums are created by pressure so the only answer I can think of is a created gravity vacuum pressure from the future goes back in time to start motion in the past.

    ( theory needs improvement - help yourself )
    Reply
  • jazzjones
    chill dawg. meth is a mother
    Reply
  • dizzo
    Im sorry for your mother's meth problem. This might help her.

    A Photo of the comet Ison showing the redshift of cosmic light in the background stars pointing to Earth as the center of the universe. ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_ISON

    Wikipedia photo of the comet Ison, *( 2012-2013 ) notice the redshift of light of the stars in the background....to me it does shift but in what direction ...the redshift of light means its moving away from Earth ?

    Notice the red shift of cosmic light in the back ground stars in the Comet Ison where are they pointing to and moving away from ? Is it the Earth ? why does it look that way ? Did people start motion here on Earth ?

    If motion first started on earth, it would explain why the cosmic red shift points to the earth at the center of the universe, maybe because motion first started here? see: ” The red shift hypothesis for quasars: Is the earth the center of the universe? - Astrophysics and Space Science August 1976. “
    Reply
  • dizzo
    From 1985, wow, they question if MUONS decay faster than the speed of light ?
    If Muons do decay faster than the speed of light, then what ?

    Will the muon decay go back in time before motion even started to start motion in the universe inside a static graviy vacuum field , maybe of helium 3 and 4 gravity field, ( left over from another universal cycle ? ) since helium 3 and 4 can not freeze ?

    The Net Advance of Physics - MITweb.mit.edu › redingtn › www › netadv › ftlNuSwift
    ; Are muon neutrinos faster-than-light particles? ... Breaking the light speed barrier by O. I. Chashchina and Z. K. Silagadze Higgs Bosons? by Burra G. Sidharth Argues ... ; Non-Standard Neutrino Propagation and Pion Decay by Massimo ...


    Question: If the universe is at 3 Kelvin and the LHC at Cern operated at 2 Kelvin then :

    When was the last time the universe was at 2 Kelvin ?

    If you support the Big Band theory as is, then your answer might be never, why ?
    Reply
  • SteveStevens
    "Is it possible people created a Higgs muon that started motion in the universe? "

    No. Now move along.
    Reply
  • dizzo
    In your opinion how, where and when did motion first start ?

    If the universe created itself as the late Stephen Hawking alleges - and Im sure you argee with the late Mr Hawking that: " The universe created itself ? "

    The aren't people part of the universe ?

    Is there anything in the universe other than human beings on earth that can created a 10 billion dollar machine that operates at 2 Kelvin and can generate a Higgs muon that allegedly can decay faster that the speed of light ?

    Can the decay of these man made Higgs muons go back in time to a place where there is no motion ?

    If so, would this mean that people started motion in the universe and why the redshift of cosmic light has everything moving away from the Earth, maybe because motion first started here ?
    Reply
  • dizzo
    What happened in 1054 AD?

    The Crab Nebula was formed

    " Tracing the expansion back revealed that the nebula must have become visible on Earth about 900 years before. Historical records revealed that a new star bright enough to be seen in the daytime had been recorded in the same part of the sky by Chinese astronomers on 4 July 1054, and probably also by Japanese observers a few weeks earlier. " source Wikipedia

    I'm not saying people made the Crab Nebula to look like Africa in 1054 AD, but was it a call from the past for help from a people facing genocide ?

    ( can African drums and song et al, echo to the sky ?)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_Nebula
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_of_Africa
    The Crab Nebula looks like Africa ?

    A photo of the Crab Nebula that corresponds to the bright SN 1054 supernova recorded by ancient astronomers in AD 1054. ( wikipedia )

    A map of Africa, do you see the shape or fractal of Africa in the Crab supernova image ?

    They say the Crab Nebula star explosion happened in1054 AD ?

    What happened in 1054 AD?

    " The East–West Schism (also the Great Schism or Schism of 1054) is the break of communion since the 11th century between the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches. "

    read

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East%E2%80%93West_Schism

    re does the Crab nebula look like Africa ? Is it possible people created a Higgs muon that started motion in the universe?

    What if the Ethopian Coptic Church was in union with the Church of Rome before the Portugues explorers arrived in Africa around 1400 AD .

    If the Ethopian Coptic Church and the Roman Catholic Church where in union would there have been as much Western African slavery ?

    Is it just coincidence or are people able to do things we think are impossible ?

    Like create new things like civilization ?

    =================================

    From ask Ethan Forbes article Aug 14th 2020 story : " Why Are The Moon And Sun The Same Size In Earth’s Sky? "

    When you ask the question, “what are the odds that an Earth-like planet will have a Moon that’s comparable in angular size to the Sun,” you’re really asking what the odds are of:

    having an Earth-like planet, which is an Earth-sized planet at the right distance from its star for liquid water on its surface,
    that experienced a giant impact in its early history, creating a synestia,
    where the planet itself winds up rotating rapidly after that collision,
    where a large, inner moon gets created but won’t fall back onto the planet,
    and then spirals away as angular momentum gets transferred from the planet to the Moon.
    It’s remarkable that science, "
    It may affirm; " the universe created itself " as the late Steven Hawking alleged and people are part of that universe and may have started motion ?
    Reply
  • Valentine Michael Smith



    Hmmmmm. In thought explorations like this, I tend to wonder 'to what end?'. As in the face of evidence, the humanity of even scientists gets in the way of reckoning the world. Hell, my existence, expression, and receipt of such corroborate that 'test'. In any case, I think your work needs a different audience, beau.
    Reply
  • Westwood
    From wiki on Higgs boson: CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci stated that confirming spin-0 was the major remaining requirement to determine whether the particle is at least some kind of Higgs boson

    Actually the theory is very unreliable. See https://nohiggs.wordpress.com/
    Reply
  • JWSmythe
    The universe didn't spawn from a distal arm of a spiral galaxy. If it were the center, everything would be expanding away from it.

    Even this solar system doesn't have the Earth at the center, no matter how much you want it to be.

    The Earth would also be the home to the oldest matter in the universe. We have found matter that has fallen to the Earth that is 7 billion years old. That makes it 2.5 billion years older than the Earth, and almost that to the Sun.

    In the whole lifespan of the known universe, our home rock, and the whole neighborhood, is fairly new. New enough, where civilizations in other galaxies have come and gone many times over, before there was even an Earth to stand on.

    But, to the question of which particle came first, I have no clue. Maybe someday we'll figure it out. This may has
    brought us just a little bit closer to understanding.
    Reply