NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1056950
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The LHC's Next Big Mystery
Lincoln, Don
Physics Teacher, v53 n3 p140-144 Mar 2015
When the sun rose over America on July 4, 2012, the world of science had radically changed. The Higgs boson had been discovered. Mind you, the press releases were more cautious than that, with "a new particle consistent with being the Higgs boson" being the carefully constructed phrase of the day. But, make no mistake, champagne corks were popped and backs were slapped. The data had spoken and a party was in order. Even if the observation turned out to be something other than the Higgs boson, the first big discovery from data taken at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) had been made. Over the course of the following nine months, more data were recorded and analyzed and the situation was clarified. This new particle was shown to be created and to decay in accordance with the predictions of the Higgs boson of the Standard Model. In addition, careful measurements of the quantum mechanical spin and parity buttressed the tale. To be sure, even today, scientists are not 100% certain that they have found "the" Higgs boson (as opposed to a Higgs boson). Certainly the new particle has all the predicted properties, but the Standard Model isn't the only theory on the market. In this article, the author describes a deep mystery in the very foundation of how the Higgs boson is wedded to the Standard Model. In essence, theory predicts that the natural mass of the Higgs boson is about 17 orders of magnitude higher than was measured. This enormous discrepancy is the reason that physicists are so confident that the LHC research program will reveal deep and new insights in their understanding of the laws of the universe.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A