CERN Courier July/August 2022
Welcome to the digital edition of the July/August 2022 issue of CERN Courier.
Ten years of precision measurements at the LHC have shown the Higgs boson to be remarkably consistent with the minimal version required by the Standard Model. Combined with the no-show of non-Standard Model particles that were expected to accompany the Higgs, theorists are left scratching their heads (p47). As we celebrate the collective effort of high-energy physicists in predicting (p31 and 35) and discovering (p23 and 27) the Higgs boson and determining its properties (p40 and 63), another intriguing journey has opened up.
As “a fragment of vacuum” with the barest of quantum numbers, the Higgs boson is potentially connected to many open questions in fundamental physics – the nature of the electroweak phase transition (p51); hidden sectors relevant to dark matter (p55); the puzzling fermion mass hierarchy (p53); and the ultimate stability of the universe (p59), among others.
With the LHC and its high-luminosity upgrade, physicists have 20 more years of Higgs exploration to look forward to. To fully understand the Higgs boson, however, a successor collider will be needed (p45 and 61), allowing researchers to build upon the events of 4 July 2012 to reach the next level of understanding in fundamental physics.