Scientists have put Higgs particle research on hold for two or three years to improve the accelerator and detectors, associate physics chairman Jaehoon Yu said. In the mean time, Yu said he plans to test data as repairs are being made.

“Every time we stop, we will improve,” Yu said. “We have enough data to look into some properties of the Higgs particle.”

Yu presented the Higgs research to an audience of professionals and students Wednesday morning at Nedderman Hall. The Arlington Technology Association hosted the seminar.

A team of researchers, some from UTA, discovered a new particle last summer in Geneva, Switzerland. The new particle has properties of the Higgs boson particle, but there is not enough data to precisely measure all the properties, Yu said.

The Higgs particle is a piece of evidence of the Higgs field, he added. The Higgs field is an invisible energy that exists everywhere. The Higgs particle is being tested to see if it fits the Standard Model of Physics, which describes the particles that make up the universe, according to a previous Shorthorn article.

The progress of the Higgs research is a step in completing the Standard Model. The anticipated repairs will give researchers the opportunity to increase the accelerator levels for new discoveries, Yu said.

“Now, we need to go to the full capacity of the accelerator,” Yu said. “Also, linear collider and advanced detectors are being developed for future precision measurements of Higgs and other new particles.”

The research will help scientists understand the origin of mass, Yu said. It also has the potential to make UTA a leader for dark matter searches, giving students an opportunity to participate, he said.

Paul Shover, Arlington Technology Association president, said the association hosts these talks for professionals seeking developmental hours for their profession and students who are interested in specific topics. Yu was invited to speak because of interest in the topic, as well as his national recognition.

“It was a very interesting topic,” Shover said. “When it makes national news and we have somebody here on campus that’s involved with it, that’s the perfect opportunity for us to invite him to talk about it.”

Yu presented his research with a conversational style, using the space in the front of the room and demonstrating particle movements with his hands. He compared himself to the character Leonard, played by Johnny Galecki, on the CBS sitcom“The Big Bang Theory.” Yu said he is an experimentalist, not a theorist.

Yusuf Suleman, computer science engineering sophomore, said the presentation was interesting and influential.

“It was very interesting because I like physics,” Suleman said. “I love experimenting. I love playing with stuff.”

Yu kept the attention of the audience, Suleman said.

“He was very loud for 7 o’clock in the morning,” Suleman said.


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