10 years
of Higgs Boson
Research at CERN

Explore the key stages through these last 10 years of research.

Scroll or drag to explore →
Scroll or drag to explore →

Higgs boson existence first postulation.

It was populated by Peter Higgs in his paper Broken Symmetries and the masses of Gauge Bosons paper and Broken Symmetry and the Mass of Gauge Vector Mesons by Francois Englert and Robert Brout. These papers follow earlier theoretical work that introduced spontaneous symmetry breaking into condensed-matter and particle physics. The paper by G. S. Guralnik, C. R. Hagen and T. W. B. Kibble, Global conservation laws and massless particles published in the same year, independently introduced spontaneous breaking of gauge symmetry in particle physics.

“A model of leptons”

Incorporated into the Standard Model in S. Weinberg’s seminal paper “A model of leptons”, showing that matter particles can also acquire their masses from ‘spontaneous’ symmetry breaking.

G.'t Hooft’s & M.Veltman’s paper

G.'t Hooft’s & M.Veltman’s paper published: shown to lead to a calculable and predictive unified theory of the weak and electromagnetic interactions.

See the paper

"A phenomenological profile of the Higgs boson"

The paper, "A phenomenological profile of the Higgs boson" by John Ellis, Maria Gaillard and John Nanopoulos.

The authors “considered that the discovery of the Higgs boson would be the culmination of the experimental verification of the Standard Model, and we published a paper outlining its phenomenological profile”.

See the paper

A series of papers
on Higgs boson production
at lepton and proton colliders.

In 1977 a meeting of ECFA reached the conclusion that the next big project should be an electron– positron collider of at least 100 GeV beam energy.

Studies by accelerator experts showed that, in order to reach such a high energy, a ring of about 30 km would be necessary. Moreover, only the use of superconducting radio frequency cavities would deliver this energy. John, who was more inclined to a proton machine using superconducting magnets, became convinced that the physicists wanted the electron– positron collider and participated actively in its study with the help of Michael Crowley-Milling, who was then the Directorate Member for the accelerator program. However, John remained of the opinion that a proton machine would be required after LEP and so, in a page of his handwritten notebook of 1977, he advocated a LEP tunnel of a sufficient width (3.5 m) to accommodate also a proton ring using superconducting magnets of 4.5 T and a beam energy of 3 TeV. He called this SPEC (Super Proton Electron Complex).

Read more: G. Brianti & D. E. Plane

ECFA-LEP WG report

ECFA-LEP WG report (Chair A. Zichichi): “A tunnel with a 27 circumference and a diameter of 5 m with a view to the replacement of LEP at the end of its activities by a proton-proton collider using cryogenic magnets“

See the report

LEP approval 1981

UA1 and UA2 experiments discover the W & Z bosons, strengthening the belief in the potential of hadron colliders.

LHC studies

Herwig Schopper (CERN’s DG) initiated LHC studies in preparation for the International Committee on Future Accelerators (ICFA) seminar in Japan in May 1984

CERN - ECFA Workshop in Lausanne

CERN - ECFA Workshop in Lausanne on the feasibility of a hadron collider in the future LEP tunnel.

For the experimental community “it all started with the CERN – ECFA Workshop in Lausanne on the feasibility of a hadron collider in the future LEP tunnel” This workshop was organized in preparation for the 1984 ICFA workshop at KEK, which witnessed a big SSC-LHC shoot out.

ECFA-CERN Evian Worksop

Expressions of Interest presented:

  • ASCOT (central solenoid + outer toroid)
  • EAGLE (central solenoid + outer toroid)
  • CMS (large solenoid)
  • Upgraded L3 detector (large solenoid)

In addition, two heavy ion experiments, three CP violation/B physics experiments, two neutrino experiments.

The birth of ATLAS and CMS.

Newly formed LHCC asked for formal LOIs by 1 October 1992, by which time ASCOT and EAGLE has merged to form ATLAS.
The Toroidal LHC Apparatus collaboration submits their Letter of Intent to the LHCC for a multipurpose detector, marking the first official use of the name ATLAS. ASCOT and EAGLE combined to form ATLAS. Read the ATLAS letter of intent.
The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) collaboration, also submitted a letter of intent to LHCC, marking the first official use of the name CMS. Read the CMS letter of intent.

LHC construction approved

LHC construction approved 1.
The CERN council approves the construction of the Large Hadron Collider 2.

In December 1994 CERN's governing body, the Council, officially approved the construction of CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) - a technologically challenging super conducting ring, which will be installed in the existing LEP tunnel - to provide proton-proton collisions at energies 10 times greater than any previous machine. One of the fundamental questions it will address is that of the mechanism which gives matter its mass. The LHC will bring protons and ions into head-on collisions at higher energies than ever achieved before. LHC Project organisation is managed by the LHC Project Leader, L. Evans (1994- ), supported by the Project Management team and the Project Leader's Office.

Link 1

Link 2

Top-quark discovery at the Tevatron

CMS and ATLAS experiments approved

CMS and ATLAS experiments approved.

Four years after the first technical proposals, the experiments CMS and ATLAS are officially approved. Both are general-purpose experiments designed to explore the fundamental nature of matter and the basic forces that shape our universe, including the Higgs boson

End of LEP2

Start of LHC machine commissioning and experiments installation

Last LHC dipole magnet goes underground

The last superconducting magnet is lowered down an access shaft to the LHC. The 15-metre dipoles, each weighing 35 tonnes, are the most complex components of the machine. In total, 1232 dipoles were lowered to 50 metres below the surface via a special oval shaft.

Learn more

ATLAS & CMS experiments caverns

Last pieces lowered in the caverns of the ATLAS and CMS experiments before the first LHC physics run.

Collisions for physics at the LHC

In 2009, LHC was put into standby mode following the successful intervention to address the incident that took place shortly after the LHC started in 2008. Collisions at 2.36 TeV set a new world record and brought to a close a successful first run for the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. The LHC is put into standby mode for a short technical stop to prepare for higher energy collisions and the start of the main research programme. Over the 2009 run, each of the LHC’s four major experiments, ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb have recorded over one million particle collisions, which are distributed for analysis around the world on the LHC computing grid.

Read more

An LHC timeline

Reaching high-energy collisions at the LHC

Watch the video

Higgs boson discovery

Watch Highlights from the Discovery

Peter Higgs interview

Francois Englert interview

Nobel Prize

“for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider”

Nobel Prize Physics Announcement

10th anniversary

Fabiola Gianotti

Andreas Hoecker
(ATLAS spokesperson)

Luca Malgeri
(CMS spokesperson)

Tian-Tevong You

Michelangelo Mangano

Peter Higgs:
10 years after
the Higgs boson

the Future

of Higgs research