In DepthParticle Physics

Physicists plan hunt for Higgs boson pairs

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Science  14 Sep 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6407, pp. 1054-1055
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6407.1054

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For particle physicists eager to explore new frontiers, spotting the Higgs boson has become a bittersweet triumph. Detected in 2012 at the world's biggest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the long-sought particle filled the last gap in the standard model of fundamental particles and forces. But since then, the standard model has stood up to every test, yielding no hints of new physics. Now, the Higgs itself may offer a way out of the impasse. Experimenters at the LHC, located at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, plan to hunt for collisions that produce not just one Higgs boson, but two. Finding more of these rare double-Higgs events than expected could point to particles or forces beyond the standard model and might even help explain the imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe. Last week, more than 100 physicists met at a workshop at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, to hone the conceptual tools needed for the search. Projections suggest the LHC will have to run until the 2030s to spot such events, but experimenters think they can beat that estimate as their Higgs-finding methods continue to improve.