ATLAS and CMS results on Higgs decay to bottom quarks


This morning two results appeared on the arXiv:

There was a CERN seminar on 28/8/2018, which was available as a live webcast. The recording is now available here.

The seminar and papers are intended for a particle physics audience, so will likely be “tricky” for a general audience to follow. As the title suggests, what will be shown is the first clear measurement of the Higgs boson decay to bottom quarks, as well as a measurement of one of the ways it can be produced (VH – that is, produced together with a W or Z boson). Some explanation aimed at a more general reader is linked below.

This is a very challenging measurement, and the result of a determined campaign by both experiments, with many important contributions from theorists too. I have written about it a few times on this blog; in fact way of making the job more doable was the subject of my first post: The Physics behind the paper behind “Colliding Particles”.

Then there was a summary of some earlier results, with less data. These gave a strong indication that the decay was occurring, but fell short of the the gold standard “five sigma” we require for a clear discovery. This article also contains more information about why the measurement is important, why it is so difficult, and how it is done: Getting to the Bottom of the Higgs Boson.

Finally, I wrote something about the preliminary version of these results (along with results on the Higgs and the top quark): Two Quarks for Muster Higgs.

There will be some press releases and other links to come, which I will collect here when I can.

It is a very satisfying day for a lots people – many of whom are already be looking at the new data we are getting right now, so we can measure this more precisely…



About Jon Butterworth

UCL Physics prof, works on LHC, writes (books, Cosmic Shambles and elsewhere). Citizen of England, UK, Europe & Nowhere, apparently.
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