A(nother) day to remember

6 September 2022

On the morning of 4 July 2012, Joe Incandela for CMS and Fabiola Gianotti for ATLAS presented results confirming the observation of a new elementary particle. Precisely 10 years later, with somewhat shorter queues, around 500 people packed into the same room to celebrate this momentous event in the history of particle physics. Many hundreds more connected remotely, while similar celebrations were held around the globe. The symposium marking the 10th anniversary of the Higgs-boson discovery was a veritable Higgs feast that immersed participants in the history of the discovery, the latest results from ATLAS and CMS in understanding the Higgs-boson’s properties and interactions, and the potential of future precision measurements at the LHC and beyond. For those who were unable to be there, the Courier provides a bite-sized digest.

“I am an opportunist, in one way an extremely successful one. Weinberg and I were working along similar lines with similar attitudes. I wish you well for your celebrations and regret that I can’t be with you in person.” 

Peter Higgs winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Peter Higgs

“It was an overwhelming time for us. It took time to understand what had happened. I especially remember the excitement among the young researchers.” 

Rolf Heuer former CERN Director-General. 

“It took 14 years to build the LHC. At one point we had 1000 dipoles, each costing a million Swiss francs, stored on the surface, throughout rain and snow.” 

Lyn Evans former LHC project director.

“The first two years of measuring Standard Model physics were essential to give us confidence in the readiness of the two experiments to search for new physics.” 

Peter Jenni founding ATLAS spokesperson.

“A key question for CMS was: can tracking be done in a congested environment with just a few points, albeit precise ones? It was a huge achievement requiring more than 200 m2 of active silicon.” 

Michel Della Negra founding CMS spokesperson.

“I remember on 4 July 2012 a magnificent presentation of a historical discovery. I would also like to celebrate the life of Robert Brout, a great physicist and important man.” 

François Englert winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics. 

François Englert

“The gist of the theory behind the Higgs boson would easily compete with the most far-fetched conspiracy theory, yet it seems nature chose it.” 

Eliezer Rabinovici president of the CERN Council.

“The structure of the vacuum is intimately connected to how the Higgs boson interacts with itself. To probe this phenomenon at the LHC we can study the production of Higgs-boson pairs.” 

André David CMS experimentalist (CERN).

“Collaboration between experiment and theory is even more necessary now to find any hints for BSM physics.” 

Reisaburo Tanaka ATLAS experimentalist (Université Paris-Saclay).

“Precision Higgs physics is a telescope to high-scale physics, so I’m looking forward to the next 10 years of discovery.” 

Sally Dawson theorist (BNL). 

Sally Dawson

“Theory accuracy will be even more important to make the best of the HL-LHC data, especially in the case in which no evidence of new physics will show up… This is also crucial for the Monte Carlo tools used in the analyses.”

Massimiliano Grazzini theorist (University of Zurich).

“After 10 years we’ve measured the five main production and five major decay mechanisms of the Higgs boson.” 

Kerstin Tackmann ATLAS experimentalist (DESY).

Kerstin Tackmann

“What we know so far – Mass: known to 0.11%. Width: closing in on SM value of 3.2+2.5–1.7   MeV (plus evidence of off-shell Higgs production). Spin 0: spin 1 & 2 excluded at 99.9% CL. CP structure: in accordance with SM CP-even hypotheses.”

Marco Delmastro ATLAS experimentalist (CNRS/IN2P3 LAPP).

“We have learned much about the 125 GeV Higgs boson since its discovery. The LHC Run 3 starts tomorrow: ready for the next decade of Higgs-boson exploration!”

Adinda de Wit CMS experimentalist (University of Zurich).

“The Higgs boson is linked to profound structural problems in the Standard Model. It is therefore an extraordinary discovery tool that calls for a broad experimental programme at the LHC and beyond.” 

Fabiola Gianotti CERN Director-General.

Fabiola Gianotti

“Elusive non-resonant pairs of Higgs bosons are the prime experimental signature of the Higgs-boson self-coupling. We are all eager to analyse Run 3 data to further probe HH events!”

Arnaud Ferrari ATLAS experimentalist (Uppsala University).

“New physics can affect differently the different fermion generations. We have to precisely measure the couplings if we want to understand the Higgs boson’s nature.”

Andrea Marini CMS experimentalist (CERN).

“From its potential invisible, forbidden, and exotic decays to the possible existence of scalar siblings, the Higgs boson plays a fundamental role in searches for physics beyond the Standard Model.”

Roberto Salerno CMS experimentalist (CNRS/IN2P3 – LLR & École polytechnique).

“An incredible collaborative effort has brought us this far. But there is much more to come, especially during Long Shutdown 3, with HL-LHC paving the way from Run 3 to ultimate performance. Interesting times ahead to say the least!”

Mike Lamont CERN director for accelerators and technology.

Mike Lamont

“The hard work and creativity in reconstruction and analysis techniques are already evident since the last round of projections. Imagine what we can do in the next 20 years!”

Elizabeth Brost ATLAS experimentalist (BNL).

“The Higgs is the first really new elementary particle we’ve seen. We need to study it to death!”  

Nima Arkani-Hamed theorist (IAS).

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