The observation of this extremely rare process was announced today (June 4) at the Large Hadron Collider Physics 2018 conference in Bologna, Italy. ATLAS’ observation will allow physicists to test critical parameters of the Higgs mechanism in the Standard Model of particle physics.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy have long played a key role in particle physics experiments at ATLAS, contributing to areas including hardware and software development, physics studies, data-taking and analysis.
Dr Mark Owen of the School of Physics and Astronomy was convenor of the ATLAS top quark physics group from 2014 to 2016 and helped coordinate part of the work which went into this latest discovery. He said: “This is a remarkable discovery, demonstrating experimentally that the Higgs boson does indeed couple to the top quark – the heaviest known elementary particle.
“Along with my colleagues Tony Doyle, Sarah Boutle and a number of students, we have been deeply involved in the analysis where the Higgs decays into a pair of b-quarks, which is one of the five Higgs decay modes used for this discovery. The discovery relies on the great performance of the ATLAS detector, including the inner tracking detector used to identify b-quarks, which was partially constructed in Glasgow. Along with colleagues around the world, we are now all looking forward to analysing the data that ATLAS is currently collecting and being able to learn more about the connection between the Higgs boson and the top quark.”