"The Race for the 'God Particle'"

Dr. Chris Jackson
UT Arlington, Dept of Physics

Despite years of searching, the origin of mass has remained a mystery. Now, however, with the turn on of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and the continuing efforts of the Tevatron at Fermilab, this mystery appears to be close to being solved. In the Standard Model of particle physics, mass generation occurs through a process called spontaneous symmetry breaking. The lone remnant of this process is a spinless particle called the Higgs boson. Detection of a Higgs boson (which has been called the 'holy grail' of particle physics) is one of the major goals of particle physics experiments, since this would provide direct evidence for the process of spontaneous symmetry breaking. In this talk, I will review the physics of the mechanism that produces mass in the Standard Model as well as discuss alternatives to the Standard Model. I will also give an update of where we stand (both theoretically and experimentally) in the search for the Higgs boson both in the Standard Model as well as in more exotic scenarios.