John Butler, Boston University

Topic: "Hunting the Higgs Boson with the ATLAS Detector at the Large Hadron Collider"  (Video)

Abstract: The goal of high-energy physics is to uncover the basic building blocks of nature and the forces between them. In our current understanding of nature, called the “standard model”, the building blocks are quarks and leptons, while the forces are mediated by gauge bosons. The different masses of the building blocks tell us that electroweak symmetry is broken. In the standard model, this symmetry is broken by the Higgs mechanism. The Higgs boson is a physical manifestation of the Higgs mechanism and is the only particle in the standard model that has not been observed. The hunt for the Higgs boson is in full swing at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Based on data collected during 2011, the two large LHC experiments, ATLAS and CMS, have greatly reduced the window in mass where the Higgs could live and have observed a small excess of events in that window. I will present recent results from the searches for the Higgs boson conducted by ATLAS and the outlook for finally discovering (or ruling out!) the standard model Higgs boson by the end of this year.