Will the real Higgs boson please stand up?
From the SLAC News Center,
Aug. 9, 2011
Although physicists from two experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider and from Fermilab’s Tevatron collider recently reported at the Europhysics Conference on High Energy Physics that they didn't find the Higgs boson, they're continuing to home in on the elusive particle, prompting Rolf-Dieter Heuer, the Director General of CERN, to go on record that he believes a neutral Higgs boson will be found by the LHC by the end of 2012.
Meanwhile, at the same conference but during a different session, BaBar collaboration member and SLACer Manuel Franco Sevilla delivered his own report touching on the Higgs. In its own way, Sevilla's contribution was even more curious than the reports from the LHC, because the Higgs boson that the BaBar collaboration didn't find is not the same Higgs boson that the CMS and ATLAS experiments at the LHC could not find in their data.
Wait a minute! In both cases the Higgs is that mysterious particle responsible for bestowing mass upon its subatomic brethren, right? But – as it happens – not all Higgs bosons are created alike.
"The ATLAS and CMS results refer to a neutral Higgs boson," said SLAC’s Steve Robertson, the current physics analysis coordinator for BaBar. The neutral, or uncharged Higgs boson is the only member of the Standard Model's rogues' gallery of subatomic particles to remain at large after decades of searching.
—Lori Ann White