Probing the Atomic Higgs Force
Gilad Perez, Dept. of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science
23/05/2016 - 10:30
בנין פיסיקה 202 חדר 301
After the discovery of the Higgs particle at the Large Hadron Collider, the Higgs mechanism is expected to account for all observed masses of the the fundamental, point like, particles. We briefly argue that, while this is true for the mediators of the weak force (the W and Z gauge bosons), we are still in the dark regarding the origin of the charged fermions masses. In particular, the nature of the masses of the building blocks of matter, the electron and up and down quarks is an open question, both theoretically and experimentally.
It motivates us to propose a non-collider approach to probe Higgs boson couplings to these matter constituents via precision measurement of isotope shifts in atomic clock transitions. We present an experimental method which, given state-of-the-art accuracy in frequency comparison, competes with and potentially surpasses the Large Hadron Collider in bounding the Higgs-to-light-fermion couplings. Better knowledge of the latter is an important test of the Standard Model which could lead, besides the establishment of new physics above the weak scale, to an alternative understanding of the flavor puzzle (namely the fact that the fermions masses span five orders of magnitude in scale).
If time permits we will then discuss how to translate the above (potential) fantastic sensitivity to constrain the presence of heavy new degrees of freedom that are well beyond the reach of near future accelerators.