Theorists Feast on Higgs Data
The popping of champagne corks may have subsided since scientists presented convincing evidence for the existence of the long-sought Higgs boson, but the work has just begun for theoretical particle physicists, who are revelling in the biggest glut of data they’ve had since the 1990s. Many are working evenings and weekends to interpret the results, and they have already generated a publication boom, with dozens of papers about the discovery appearing on the preprint server arXiv.org during the past two weeks.
Some are using the fresh data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to eliminate theoretical models. Others are probing for hints of new particles. Most are still hoping that their investigations will produce a grand theory to replace the almost infallible standard model of particle physics, a framework that predicts the behavior and properties of all fundamental particles and every force except gravity