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MEDIA ADVISORY: Higgs boson news – Johns Hopkins expert available

Andrei Gritsan is a member of one of the two teams of scientists conducting experiments with the Large Hadron Collider to confirm that a particle discovered in July 2012 is a Higgs boson.

March 15, 2013
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Andrei Gritsan

The announcement that researchers are closer than ever to confirming the existence of the Standard Model Higgs boson particle was made possible in part by contributions from physicists at The Johns Hopkins University who are members of one of two teams conducting experiments at the Large Hadron Collider.

One member of the Johns Hopkins team, experimental physicist Andrei Gritsan, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is available to speak to reporters working on stories regarding today’s announcement from CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research. He belongs to the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment) collaboration and is co-leader of a team investigating one of the most promising channels revealing how Higgs could be found and studied.

CERN’s announcement coincides with the release of research results at the Moriond conference, a weeklong gathering of physicists taking place in Italy through March 16. Andrew James Whitbeck, a member of Gritsan’s research team and a graduate student in the Department of Physics at Johns Hopkins, was scheduled to make a presentation there titled “Measurements of Higgs Boson Properties in CMS” on March 14.

Gritsan says the Johns Hopkins team made a very significant contribution to the discovery of this boson last summer, and now to the measurement of its properties. Teams on both experiments studying the Higgs-like boson on LHC are using some of the techniques developed and suggested by the Johns Hopkins experts to identify the properties of the new boson, such as its spin, parity, and related properties.

“In just one channel with two Z-bosons alone, we prove that the chance of a mistake to see a new particle is less than one in a hundred billion,” Gritsan said. “With such an amazing precision, everything looks exceedingly consistent with this particle being the Higgs boson, such as 99.8 percent confidence in excluding opposite parity (property in the mirror reflection) or more than 99 percent exclusion of the suspect models with non-zero spin. It all points to the property of vacuum, which is filled with the all-penetrating Higgs field, where the boson is simply its excitation created in the laboratory. Our past, present, and future depend on the properties of this field, and we are still to understand all the implications of this grand discovery and to study in detail this new form of matter-energy never known before.”

To speak with Gritsan, contact Amy Lunday at 443-287-9960 (office) or 410-804-2551 (cell) or acl@jhu.edu.

Additional information:

The US LHC news release issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory

News release issued by CERN


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