Finding not just one Higgs boson, but two at the same time, is an exceptionally challenging task. Known as di-Higgs production, this process is about 1,000 times rarer than the production of a single Higgs boson. With only a few thousand di-Higgs events expected during the entire Run 2 of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), this rare occurrence presents a significant challenge for physicists amidst the 40 million collisions happening every second.

Maximizing Search Efforts

To increase the chances of finding and studying di-Higgs production, physicists at the ATLAS collaboration have developed a strategy. By examining the different ways di-Higgs can decay, known as decay modes, researchers aim to maximize their search efforts. Each decay mode presents its own advantages and challenges, with some being more common but also more difficult to differentiate from background processes, while others may be rarer but with cleaner signatures.

The Significance of Combined Studies

The most recent study released by the ATLAS collaboration combines five individual studies focused on different decay modes of di-Higgs production. By putting together the results from these studies, researchers were able to exclude values more than 2.9 times the Standard Model prediction for the probability of two Higgs bosons being produced. This achievement, at a 95% confidence level, marks a significant milestone in the study of di-Higgs production.

In addition to the probability of di-Higgs production, the researchers were also able to provide constraints on the strength of the Higgs boson self-coupling. The magnitude of the Higgs self-coupling constant and the interaction strength of two Higgs bosons and two vector bosons were found to be consistent with Standard Model predictions. This finding adds to our understanding of the fundamental aspects of the Standard Model that govern the stability of our universe.

With the success of the latest study, ATLAS researchers are now turning their attention to data from the ongoing LHC Run 3 and the upcoming High-Luminosity LHC operation. By continuing to collect and analyze data, physicists hope to observe the elusive Higgs-boson-pair production. This ongoing research represents a crucial step forward in our quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe at the subatomic level.

Physics

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