Quigg, Chris Theoretical Physics Department, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, Illinois.
Last reviewed:June 2017
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- Higgs boson, published 2015:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Higgs boson, published June 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Weak interactions and electromagnetism
- A mechanism for electroweak symmetry breaking
- Experimental searches
- Further questions
- Experimental prospects
- Origins of mass
- Effect of the Higgs mechanism on the world
- Extensions of electroweak theory
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A massive unstable scalar elementary particle that is the agent of electroweak symmetry breaking in the Glashow–Weinberg–Salam theory. According to the electroweak theory, interactions with the Higgs field endow the weak bosons, quarks, and leptons with mass. In July 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), announced the discovery of a new particle with mass 125 GeV (1 GeV = 109 electronvolts) that closely matches the theoretical expectations (Fig. 1). This observation led to the awarding of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics to two pioneers of the symmetry-breaking mechanism that underlies the electroweak theory, François Englert (for his work with the late Robert Brout) and Peter Higgs.
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