Physicists at CERN have measured the lifetime of the Higgs boson with greater accuracy than ever before. Since the mythical particle lived only a tiny fraction per second, scientists came up with an inventive and workaround to calculate the new figure.
The Higgs boson, first hypothesized in the 1960s, Standard Model It was the last elementary particle predicted by
Other particles gain mass through interactions with it.
Its detection in 2012 was one of the most important scientific breakthroughs in a century, earning the scientists who formulated the idea the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics.
What is the Higgs Boson?
The Higgs boson is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics produced by quantum excitation of the Higgs field, one of the areas in particle physics theory.
In the Standard Model, the Higgs particle is a large scalar boson with zero spin, no electric charge and no color charge.
It is also very unstable, almost decaying into other particles.
It is named after physicist Peter Higgs, who in 1964, along with five other scientists, proposed the Higgs mechanism to explain why some particles have mass.
This mechanism required the existence of a spinless particle known as a scalar boson with properties described by the Higgs Mechanism theory. This particle was named the Higgs boson.
So for the new study, the scientists with the CMS Collaboration used an indirect method to measure the lifetime of the Higgs boson more precisely than ever before. Instead, they turned to a different property called mass width.
This property was the range of possible masses that particles could have.
Essentially, the larger the particle's mass width, the shorter its lifetime, allowing physicists to measure the first and calculate the second.
The nominal mass of the Higgs boson – its usual, most common value – is 125 Gigaelectronvolts (GeV).
Ancak Heisenberg uncertainty principle Thanks to quantum weirdness, larger-mass versions are also sometimes produced.
The study team analyzed data from the LHC's second observational study to calculate the ratio of "on-shell" Higgs bosons (those close to nominal mass) to "out-of-shell" Higgs bosons (those with much larger-than-normal mass).
LHC: Large Hadron Collider
Using this technique, the researchers calculated that the lifetime of the Higgs boson is 210 notoseconds.
Exponential Multiplicities Work Very Well in Physics
We can say this as one septillion of a second or its representation in a decimal point realm followed by 22 zeros. However, exponential numbers come to our rescue at this point.
The uncertainty of this value (+2.3/-0.9) x 10-22 seconds, making it the most precise measurement ever of the lifetime of the Higgs boson.
“Our results show that out-of-shell Higgs boson production offers an excellent way to measure the lifetime of the Higgs boson,” says Pascal Vanlaer, a physicist at CMS. “And it marks a turning point in the study of the properties of this unique particle.
In the coming years, the precision of the measurement is expected to increase with the data from the LHC studies and new analysis ideas.”