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The Higgs field is like an endless ocean through which all matter swims. Some particles are like sponges and sop up mass as they lumber along, while others are as sprightly as tiny minnows and dart right through.
The Higgs theory is a beautifully simple explanation as to why some particles are massive while others are not. But not all predictions of the Higgs theory have been experimentally tested yet. That's why scientists on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider are putting the Higgs boson under a microscope and trying to determine how it fits into the delicate ecosystem of particles.
Higgs - Interacts - Force-carrying - Particles - W
"We know that the Higgs interacts with massive force-carrying particles, like the W boson, because that's how we originally discovered it," said scientist Patty McBride from the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which supports the research of hundreds of U.S. scientists on the CMS experiment. "Now we're trying to understand its relationship with fermions."
Fermions are particles that click together to form the invisible scaffolding inside atoms. Bosons, on the other hand, are the physical manifestation of forces and perform tasks such as gluing fermions together.
June - Scientists - CMS - Experiment - Paper
In June 2014, scientists on the CMS experiment published a paper in Nature showing that the Higgs boson has a relationship with fermions by measuring the rate at which it decays into tau leptons, a heavier cousin of the electron. Later, both the CMS and ATLAS experiments found evidence of the Higgs boson decaying into bottom quarks. Now, scientists are tackling its relationship with the top quark.
"The relationship between the Higgs and the top quark is particularly interesting because the top quark is the most massive particle ever discovered," McBride said. "As the 'giver of mass,' the Higgs boson should be enormously fond of the top quark."
Because the top quark is much...
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