GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Science and Technology
Context: Physicists working with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle-smasher at CERN, reported that they had detected a Higgs boson decaying into a Z boson particle and a photon which is a very rare decay process.
About Higgs Boson:
- The Higgs boson is a subatomic particle that gives other particles mass. The strength of a particle’s interaction with the Higgs boson determines its mass.
- For Example, Electrons have a certain mass, protons have more, and neutrons have slightly more than protons because of their interactions with the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson can also interact with other Higgs bosons, indicating its greater mass.
Need for understanding Higgs Boson:
- The properties of the Higgs boson and how particles interact with it can provide insights into the universe.
Z boson and a photon:
- Virtual particles are particles that briefly exist and cannot be directly detected but have lingering effects according to quantum field theory.
- The creation of a Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) involves interactions with virtual particles, resulting in the production of a Z boson and a photon. Photons, which are particles of light, have no mass because they do not interact with the Higgs boson.
About the Standard Model of Particle Physics:
- The Standard Model is a theory in physics that describes how the smallest particles in the universe behave and interact with each other.
- According to the Standard Model, there are several types of particles. There are particles called quarks, which are the building blocks of protons and neutrons, and there are particles called leptons, which include electrons. These particles have different properties like mass and electric charge.
- The theory explains how these particles interact with each other through different forces.
- The Standard Model predicts the probabilities of different decay paths. The recent measurement confirms the decay of a Higgs boson into a Z boson and a photon, which was previously observed but now with increased statistical precision.