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Rob Sheldon on recent claims of dramatic new Higgs boson findings

CERN experiments announce first indications of a rare Higgs boson process
CERN detector/CERN

From CERN we learn:

At the 40th ICHEP conference, the ATLAS and CMS experiments announced new results which show that the Higgs boson decays into two muons. The muon is a heavier copy of the electron, one of the elementary particles that constitute the matter content of the Universe. While electrons are classified as a first-generation particle, muons belong to the second generation. The physics process of the Higgs boson decaying into muons is a rare phenomenon as only about one Higgs boson in 5000 decays into muons. These new results have pivotal importance for fundamental physics because they indicate for the first time that the Higgs boson interacts with second-generation elementary particles.

CERN, “CERN experiments announce first indications of a rare Higgs boson process” at Phys.org

Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon writes to say:

It’s all standard theory. The Higgs, weighing in at 125 GeV, most often decays into the fattest particles out there, the third family of taons & top/bottom quarks. Occasionally it decays into the second-fattest family, muons and charm/strange quarks. These fat particles must themselves decay into the lightest family of electrons, up/down quarks, which is what all of our stable universe is made out of. So in order to see a Higgs decay into muons, you have to catch it early or otherwise you’re just seeing the cascade down from 3rd family particles. This required analysis of thousands of decays and Terabytes of data crunching. So it is a triumph of data analysis to be able to see this rare decay against the more common route to stability, but neither unexpected nor revealing of physics “beyond the standard model”.

So: Big hat, no rabbit.

Rob Sheldon is also the author of Genesis: The Long Ascent and The Long Ascent, Volume II.

A triumph of money crunching. Pure consumption of taxpayer money. Nothing else. polistra

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