Moriond 08: Day 1 March 5, 2008Posted by apetrov in Particle Physics, Physics, Science.
So now that I finally twisted my knee and removed from skiing, I can report on that Moriond meeting. Most of the talks from the conference can be found here, and thus I’ll only briefly comment on the talks. The morning session was about Higgs searches and in general about electroweak symmetry breaking. Curiously enough, it was callled “LHC and Brout-Englert-Higgs Mechanism” (emphasis is mine — I wonder what happened to the names of G. Guralnik, C. R. Hagen, T. Kibble, P. Anderson and E. Stückelberg who also could lay claim on that mechanism…).
The first talk was, as usual, a welcome by the conference founder Jean Tran Thanh Van – although he told me later that he wants to retire form this post and this would be his last conference. This conference is, and alwys has been, organized impeccably, so I hope this tradition will be kept. The first two talks dealt with Higgs boson searches at the Tevatron in the low mass (< 140 GeV) and high mass regions (> 140 GeV), and also non-SM Higgs (Yorita, Zivovic and Haas). This curious separation is due to the fact that search techniques are very different for those mass ranges, which has to do with WW threshold. As you could guess, no discovery yet… but it was emphasized that Fermilab’s HighRise looks like an “H” which might stand for Higgs, so maybe they’d beat LHC to it… One nice thing about the analyses was that the results were presented as plots of Higgs mass vs Higgs production cross-section. This is nice, as if it is discovered, we’d know if its couplings are given by the Standard Model or not… Michel Tytgat gave a nice talk about a very cute model of Dark Matter which is jsut a neutral Higgs of some limit of two-Higgs model (“Inert Higgs”), which is a nice way to connect the two. Gustavo Burdman gave a review of holographic way of electroweak symmetry breaking. Lyn Evans gave a talk about LHC commissioning schedule (Jester wrote about that in his blog, so I’m not going to go into that) and D. Aguila talked about how LHC can help with tests of see-saw mechanism of neutrino mass generation.
The conference continued after the ski break with talks about SM physics at the Tevatron, HERA, and (in the future) LHC — talks by Han, Han, de Boer, Christiansen, Plamodon) and searches for new physics with photons and jets by Jaffre. A nice talk about Higgs as an inflaton was given by Fedor Bezrukov, which is a nice attempt to unify Higgs and the inflaton (field that drives inflation on the early Universe) by introducing non-minimal gravitational couplings for that scalar. The model that he described requires some careful choice of couplings to make sure early Universe develops properly, which almost drives him in the strong coupling limit. Also, higher-dimensional operators can be problematic… but the model is indeed cute! The session ended with a pedagogical talk from S. Kraml about SUSY Dark Matter.
I ‘ll try to update regularly from now on, but the Internet here is only available at the bar and you can gues how much work can be done at the bar….