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Higgs Field - Is its discovery truly "around the corner"?

+ 11 like - 0 dislike
25 views

Rather surprised I haven't seen many questions or discussion regarding the rumored confirmation of the Higgs field. As I understand it, the energies where they saw things were actually quite a bit higher than they had predicted (guessed?).

  • What does it mean that the energies where it was detected are higher than anticipated?
  • Does it impact the way we understand the standard model to work?

EDIT (Moshe, December 13): Now that the announcement is out, these questions and the more general one of potential implications of this for various ideas of BSM physics can be answered here.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
asked Dec 10, 2011 in Theoretical Physics by Larian LeQuella (110 points) [ no revision ]
retagged Apr 19, 2014 by dimension10
Most voted comments show all comments
This won't be a discovery, but perhaps a strong hint. We will know much more in 72 hours, so maybe it's best to ask then. For now, though: it would be perfectly compatible with the Standard Model and nothing else. It would also be compatible with supersymmetry, although rather heavier than one might have expected for "typical" low-energy supersymmetry.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
In my mind there are already plenty of places for both rumour mongering and complaining about said rumour mongering. Where we can do something new is a discussion of the implications of the announcement (on Tuesday), including that of the Higgs mass range preferred by the LHC. So, personally I’d love to see a question (even this question) focused on the physics of the Higgs and forgetting about the sociology and the “inside baseball”. Maybe a reformulation of the question, or one good answer, could set the right tone.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
Dear @Matt, nice mini-answer, +1. One could also say that if it is "perfectly compatible with the SM", the mass is lighter than one would expect for a "typical" non-SUSY Standard Model (by 15 orders of magnitude, in fact, to add a funny twist to it). Incidentally, there will be evidence and "candidates" but the press release won't contain the word "hint". Do you want to make a bet? ;-)

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
@Moshe I got rid of the speculative social part of the question. Feel free to go in and edit more to bring it in line with the expectations of this site (remember, I am just fascinated by physics, but I am only an engineer and management type). `Did I just, even tangentially, compare myself to a PHB?`

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
@Larian: My comment is a mixture of what I see as the site’s expectations (still work in progress) and my own personal distaste for the relentless “there might be news” news stories. Thanks for making those changes, I think there is an interesting question there and this brings it out more clearly. I’d love for a few answers concentrating on the implications of a Higgs mass being in the indicated range, along the line of what Matt and Lubos started above.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
Most recent comments show all comments
@LarianLeQuella: I think perhaps you will not get answers before tomorrow. I imagine those in the know are embargoed from talking about it until tomorrow.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
"I'll soon be turning around corner now" (Queen, *Show must go on*).

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)

1 Answer

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

I do not think it is fair to say "the Higgs looks like it's going to be at higher energies then anticipated". In fact, my money was on 160 GeV, based on models coming from noncommutative geometry. But the basic constraints on the Higgs mass from the standard model were really not very good (the following comes from the review article of Djouadi, 0503172v2). Short story: Unitarity starts failing around 900 GeV, perturbation theory fails around 700 GeV. A lower bound can be gotten by requiring that the Higgs quartic coupling remain positive, which gives $M_H> 70$ GeV. This depends on the cutoff-scale; the 70 GeV comes from assuming a 1 TeV cutoff scale. If the SM is valid up to GUT scales, this rises to $M_H>130$ GeV.

So, although the current values for Higgs are actually just below that 130 GeV, I think it's not fair to make any statement except that "it seems fine for the standard model" - it's too early to say "the Higgs mass implies new physics". All of these estimates are based on measured parameters such as the Top mass, which has it's own uncertainty associated with it. There is also the fine-tuning problem, but the above bounds generally give the same or slightly better estimates then that.

If someone wants to mention SUSY implications of a $\sim 125$ GeV Higgs, be my guest - there certainly are some. But SUSY can't possibly be real anyway, so I'm ok not knowing them ;-)

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
answered Jan 16, 2012 by cduston (160 points) [ no revision ]

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