Department Research Update - Higgs Exclusion at Tevatron Gets Noticed

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duke physicists played a major role in the recent direct exclusion of Higgs bosons at Fermilab’s Tevatron, which was featured on the cover of the February 12, 2010, issue of Physical Review Letters (PRL). Duke professor Mark Kruse says the study excluded the 162-166 GeV/c2 range of masses for the Standard Model Higgs boson using direct searches for the Higgs in a W+W- decay process. Kruse says his graduate student Dean Hidas, PhD 2009, did a large part of the work that led to the exclusion. (Hidas is now working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) as a post-doc at Rutgers University.) Duke research scientist Doug Benjamin also participated in the research. “This is the first exclusion of high mass Higgs bosons from direct searches,” Kruse says. “There are a few more improvements to implement, and as the analysis improves, that window of exclusion will grow. Where it ends depends on how much data the Tevatron delivers in the next couple of years, and where and if a Higgs boson exists.” The Tevatron is currently scheduled to run until the end of 2011, although the run may be extended.