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ics Special Colloquium
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special date.
Jennifer Pursley [Host: Craig Dukes]
University of Wisconsin
"Searches for a Standard Model Higgs Boson at the Collider Detector at Fermilab"
In the standard model of particle physics, the Higgs mechanism is theorized to explain the broken symmetry of the electromagnetic and weak forces by giving mass to the W and Z gauge bosons. One consequence of this theory is the existence of another massive elementary particle, called the Higgs boson. While this theory of electroweak symmetry breaking was first introduced in the 1960's, the Higgs boson has yet to be observed experimentally and the theory remains unproven. Finding the Higgs boson is currently one of the primary goals of the Fermilab Tevatron collider and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. In this colloquium I will start with a brief overview of the standard model of particle physics, the role played by the Higgs mechanism, and previous searches for a Higgs boson. Then I will introduce the Fermilab particle accelerator complex and the Collider Detector at Fermilab experiment, and discuss my own research searching for this elusive piece of the standard model. My focus is on the search for a high-mass Higgs boson, which primarily decays to two W bosons. Although we have not yet discovered a Higgs boson, at the Tevatron we are narrowing the possibilities. Within a few years we should know whether the standard model Higgs boson exists, or if we need a new solution.

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