US Participation in the Higgs Discovery

The Higgs boson is associated with the Higgs field, an expanse that permeates the entire universe and gives mass to fundamental particles. The discovery of the Higgs boson is a major triumph for physicists all over the world, including the United States. The United States played a vital role in each step of the process that led to the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider. Experiments at the LEP collider at CERN and the Tevatron collider at the Department of Energy's Fermilab advanced the search for the Higgs boson, and three theorists from the American universities contributed significantly to the concept of the Higgs mechanism and boson.

Creating the Experiments

The United States contributed $164 million to the construction of the ATLAS detector and $167 million to the construction of the CMS detector. The US also contributed $200 million to the construction of the Large Hadron Collider.

The United States contributed to the ATLAS detector in these areas:

  • Silicon detectors
  • Transition radiation detector
  • Liquid argon calorimeter
  • Tile calorimeter
  • Muon spectrometer
  • Trigger and data acquisition
  • Technical coordination
graphic

The United States contributed to the CMS detector in these areas:

  • Magnet system
  • Hadron calorimeter
  • Endcap muon subdetector
  • Forward pixels
  • Tracker outer barrel
  • Electromagnetic calorimeter
  • Trigger and data acquisition
  • Technical coordination
graphic

Doing the Science

23 percent of the ATLAS collaboration members come from American institutions. 33 percent of the CMS collaboration members come from American institutions. Nearly 2000 scientists from institutions in the United States are involved in the LHC. Since 2008, the work on the ATLAS and CMS experiments resulted in about 230 doctorate degrees for US students.

graphic: 23% ATLAS
graphic: 33% CMS

Taking the Data, Analyzing the Results

graphic: US Map

Computing for LHC experiments takes place in a distributed system, with CERN providing raw and processed data to 11 computing centers, two of which are located in the United States, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory. In addition to processing and storing the data, these centers distribute subsets of it to universities and institutions around the country for analysis.

The United States provides 23 percent of the computing power for the ATLAS experiment and 40 percent of the computing power for the CMS experiment.



Explore this website to learn more about U.S. contributions to one of the greatest discoveries in particle physics.