Perrenod: Why the Higgs Boson is not Dark Matter

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Dr. Stephen Perrenod writes that the Higgs boson particle detected by CERN recently is not Dark Matter.

The Higgs boson cannot be the explanation for dark matter for a very simple reason. Dark matter must be stable with a very long lifetime, persisting over the universe’s present age of 14 billion years. It mostly sits in space doing nothing except providing additional gravitational interaction with ordinary matter…The Higgs boson, on the other hand, decays very rapidly. There are various decay channels, including into quarks, W/Z bosons, leptons or photons, producing these in pairs (two Zs, two top quarks etc.). Sometimes even four particles are produced from a single Higgs decay. It is these decay products that are actually detected in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

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Finding the Higgs particle was a Big Data problem of the first order. CERN scientists had to sift through more than 800 trillion collisions looking for the Higgs, and you can learn more about the ROOT software that made it possible in this Rich Report podcast.