The discovery of the Higgs boson has opened new directions for the study of particle physics
Ten years ago, physicists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced the discovery of a newly discovered subatomic particle: the Higgs boson.
The particle was the latest piece of particle physics theory known as the Standard Model to still lack experimental proof. His discovery filled a missing keystone in the Standard Model and opened up new directions for the study of fundamental questions in physics.
Laura Reina, professor of physics at Florida State University, is a member of CERN’s Higgs Task Force on the Large Hadron Collider. Reina was recently featured in Science News, and she’s available to speak to the media about the discovery of the particle, what it means for our understanding of physics, and where the research is headed.
Laura Reina, Emeritus Research Professor, Department of Physics
Reina has been Convenor of CERN’s Higgs Working Group on the Large Hadron Collider since 2010 and sits on its Theory Advisory Board. She is a member of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“According to the standard model of particle physics, elementary particles acquire their mass through interaction with an energy field, the Higgs field, which pervades the universe.
“Larger masses correspond to stronger interactions with the Higgs field. The Higgs particle is a manifestation of such an energy field. Without it, particles like the electron would be massless, atoms could not not form and our world would certainly be very different.The discovery of the Higgs particle confirmed the Standard Model down to the energies currently being probed (billions of times the mass of a proton).A failed discovery would have seen the collapse of an otherwise hugely successful theory.
“In the decade since the discovery, physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider have been able to measure the properties of Higgs particles, including many of its couplings with other elementary particles. One of the main goals of future research will be to explore these properties with enough precision to uncover possible anomalies -; signals of new physics beyond the Higgs particle itself -; and to use them as a guide to answering these great open questions about our universe.”