Friday, April 11, 2014

News about the state of the art

Right now, I am at workshop in Benasque, Spain. This workshop is called 'After the Discovery: Hunting for a non-standard Higgs Sector'. The topic is essentially this: We now have a Higgs. How can we find what else is out there? Or at least assure that it is currently out of our reach? That there is something more is beyond doubt. We know too many cases where our current knowledge is certainly limited.

I will not go on with describing all what is presented on this workshop. This is too much. And there are certainly other places on the web, where this is done. In this entry I will therefore just describe how what is discussed at the workshop relates to my own research.

One point is certainly what experiments find. At such specialized workshops, you can get much more details of what they actually do. Since any theoretical investigation is to some extent approximative, it is always good to know, what is known experimentally. Hence, if I get a result in disagreement with the experiment, I know that there is something wrong. Usually, it is the theory, or the calculations performed. Some assumption being too optimistic, some approximation being too drastic.

Fortunately, so far nothing is at odds with what I have. That is encouraging. Though no reason for becoming overly confident.

The second aspect is to see what other peoples do. To see, which other ideas still hold up against experiment, and which failed. Since different people do different things, combining the knowledge, successes and failures of the different approaches helps you. It helps not only in avoiding too optimistic assumptions or other errors. But other people's successes provide new input.

One particular example at this workshop is for me the so-called 2-Higgs-Doublet models. Such models assume that there exists besides the known Higgs another set of Higgs particles. Though this is not obvious, the doublet in the name indicates that they have four more Higgs particles, one of them being just a heavier copy of the one we know. I have recently considered to look also into such models, though for quite different reasons. Here, I learned how they can be motivated for entirely different reasons, and especially why there are so interesting for ongoing experiments. I also learned much about their properties, and what is known (and not known) about them. This gives me quite some new perspectives, and some new ideas.

Ideas, I will certainly realize, once being back.

Finally, collecting all the talks together, they draw the big picture. They tell me, where we are now. What we know about the Higgs, what we do not know, and where there is room (left) for much more than just the 'ordinary' Higgs. It is an update for my own knowledge about particle physics. And it finally delivers the list, of what will become looked at in the next couple of months and years. I now know better where to look for the next result relevant for my research, and relevant for the big picture.