Press Release

Expert Analysis of Higgs Boson Results

By SpaceRef Editor
July 4, 2012
Filed under , ,

Below you will find comments and quotes on the latest results of the Higgs boson search from the two lead Caltech physicists involved in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, Dr. Maria Spiropulu and Dr. Harvey Newman. Caltech has approximately 40 physicists, engineers, and students at the LHC, working on a number of projects in addition to the Higgs search. The Caltech group is one of the leading groups in the U.S. and in the entire CMS collaboration.

For interviews, please contact the professors directly (see contact information below the quotes) or the Caltech Media Relations Office at +1 (626) 840-1565.

Maria Spiropulu, Professor of Physics at Caltech:

“This discovery bears on the knowledge of how mass comes about at the quantum level, and is the reason we built the LHC. It is an unparalleled achievement. More than a generation of scientists has been waiting for this very moment and particle physicists, engineers, and technicians in universities and laboratories around the globe have been working for many decades to arrive at this crucial fork. This is the pivotal moment for us to pause and reflect on the gravity of the discovery, as well as a moment of tremendous intensity to continue the data collection and analyzes; we must measure the quantum properties of the new particle and determine whether it is ‘the minimal standard model Higgs’ or an imposter — a Higgs lookalike.”

“This is an incredible, exciting moment. Even these early results give us important hints as to how mass in the universe came to be. Together with hundreds of our colleagues, we have worked for decades to reach this point: building multiple generations of experiments; designing and building detectors to precisely measure photons, electrons, and muons, which are keys to the discovery; and inventing worldwide systems that empower thousands of physicists throughout the world to collaborate day and night, share and analyze the data, and develop the new techniques leading to this great result.”

Harvey Newman, Professor of Physics at Caltech:

“This is a momentous time in the history of particle physics and in scientific exploration — the implications are profound. This is experimental science at its best.”

“A Higgs lookalike would propel us into a new realm of experimentation and physics understanding. Our targets are ambitious; they include probing a vast landscape of particles that could comprise the dark matter of the universe and forces that might even elucidate the cosmological observations of dark energy.”

“One of the most exciting aspects of this observation is that the road remains open for a vast range of ‘lookalike’ alternatives, where any deviation from the Standard Model would point the way to the existence of other new particles or forces of nature.”

At the LHC in Geneva:

Maria Spiropulu, Professor of Physics at Caltech Maria Spiropulu is an expert in devising ways to discover exotic phenomena beyond the Standard Model — including how new phenomena might manifest themselves at the LHC. In particular, she and members of the Caltech team have led the efforts to learn how to distinguish the Higgs boson that is predicted by the Standard Model from other possible new particles whose properties are similar to those of the Higgs.

Cell +41 78-949-5736 or
Skype: skahera
@MariaSpiropulu on Twitter

Harvey Newman, Professor of Physics at Caltech
Harvey Newman did much of the groundwork in designing the crystal detectors that are now used in the CMS experiment. He and his team also helped develop the worldwide grid of network and data centers that store and process the flood of data coming from the LHC.

Cell +41 76-487-3997 or +1 626-755-9306 or
Skype: harveybnewman

At Caltech:

Two of Caltech’s theoretical physicists, Mark Wise and Hirosi Ooguri (neither of whom is directly involved with the experiments at the LHC), will also be available to provide secondary-source comment on the results and their implications. They are experts in high-energy and particle physics, and are developing models and ideas that can be tested by the experiments at the LHC.

Mark Wise, John A. McCone Professor of High Energy Physics at Caltech

Hirosi Ooguri, Fred Kavli Professor of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics and Deputy Chair of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy at Caltech
Cell +1 (970) 925-2585

What is the Higgs boson?
Previous Caltech News Releases:

Deborah Williams-Hedges
+1 (626) 395-3227, cell: +1 (626) 840-1565

Sonia Chernobieff
+1 (626) 644-3069

CERN Press Release:

CERN Webcast:

CERN/LHC Photos:

CERN/LHC Video and Animations:

SpaceRef staff editor.