VU Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Friday, March 21, at 3:30 PM in NSC 221. Join us for refreshments in the Planetarium at 3:05 PM.

"The Higgs, Revealed"

Dr. Kristian Hahn
Northwestern University, Dept. of Physics

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded to Francois Englert and Peter Higgs, testifies to the tremendous success of the theoretical formulation of fundamental particle physics.  The discovery of the Higgs boson at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) also represents a clear victory for the coordinated, multinational experimental physics community, which had sought the elusive particle for more than 40 years.  In this talk I will review the experimental basis for the Higgs discovery at the LHC, focusing on results from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment.  I will explain how the design and operation of the CMS detector enabled the discovery, and I will detail the data analyses performed for the two most important Higgs discovery channels, H --> gamma gamma and H --> ZZ* --> 4l.  I will describe our present experimental understanding of the new boson and discuss how CMS will advance this knowledge in the coming decades.