Physics Colloquium: State of Play on the Higgs

Event Details

  • Speaker(s): Prof. Robert Orr
  • Date:
  • Time: 3:30 PM
  • Location: MacN 101

Abstract

The realization that one could construct a renormalizable gauge theory of the electroweak interaction by means of spontaneous symmetry breaking was a theoretical tour de force. More important was the experimental confirmation of its predictions. In turn neutral currents, massive gauge bosons, and a single value of the electroweak mixing angle were all observed during the 1970s. In the 1980s LEP made precision measurements of the predicted standard model couplings; and all were in complete accord with expectations. All of these observations made the existence of the Higgs boson associated with the symmetry breaking quite compelling. Furthermore, results from the Tevatron and LEP indicated that the simplest version of the standard model required the Higgs to have a mass just above 100 GeV/c**2. In the past year the LHC has allowed ATLAS and CMS to investigate the expected mass regime. The performance of the LHC has allowed us to be optimistic about observing the standard model Higgs, if it exists, before the shutdown at the end of this year. In this talk I will discuss the present status.