Research Director's Report

Encouraging news from CERN

| 5 July 2012

A Higgs candidate event in the ATLAS detector. Image: CERN

We at the ILC Research Directorate are all thrilled with the announcement from CERN this week that a Higgs-like particle has been discovered. The Higgs particle has been a target of our experiments for over decades, and the affirming news that has finally arrived from the LHC is a great step forward. I wish to congratulate CERN and all physicists who contributed to this success.

The observed mass agrees with what was estimated for Higgs particle from the combined precise data of the colliders LEP, SLC and the Tevatron. The Higgs particle is the unique building element of the universe, totally different from any particles so far known: leptons, quarks or gauge bosons. It gives masses to these particles. If confirmed to be a Higgs, the discovery can be compared with that of the electron over a century ago, which marked the start of particle physics.

Again the door opens for entirely new physics. We need to verify that the particle is really the Higgs particle by measuring its precise mass, its scalar (i.e. zero) spin, and its coupling to various fermions, to vector bosons and to itself. There are rich and challenging questions we need to answer to fully understand the particle and to clarify its role in the universe. There is agreement in the HEP community that the ILC is the best suited facility for this endeavour, and we have been preparing for it for many years. Now this R&D work is being summarised in our Detailed Baseline Design report describing the physics case of the ILC and the capability of the two detector designs. The report presents today’s most advanced studies to demonstrate that we are ready to step into the new field with excellent tools. The big news gives us tremendous encouragement to go forward.

Sakue Yamada

Sakue Yamada (Emeritus Professor, University of Tokyo and KEK). Former ILC Research Director.
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