0707 GMT March 20, 2019
Because of the Higgs boson's reputation as a giver of mass and the top quark's status as physics' heaviest particle, scientists assumed the two were linked. But their relationship has proven difficult to isolate and study, UPI reported.
Chris Neu, a physicist at the University of Virginia, said, "Higgs boson production is rare — but Higgs production with top quarks is rarest of them all, amounting to only about one percent of the Higgs boson events produced at the LHC.”
In the latest experiments, scientists measured a statistically significant abundance of Higgs boson production in relation with two top quarks.
Physicists surveyed the LHC data for all the known signatures left by Higgs boson production. They also found the signatures of top quarks and compared the two datasets.
Neu said, "A top quark decays almost exclusively into a bottom quark and a W boson.
"The Higgs boson, on the other hand, has a rich spectrum of decay modes, including decays to pairs of bottom quarks, W bosons, tau leptons, photons and several others.
“This leads to a wide variety of signatures in events with two top quarks and a Higgs boson. We pursued each of these and combined the results to produce our final analysis."
Some physicists believe understanding the relationship between Higgs boson and top quarks could help them establish a new model of physics.
Joe Lykken, director of the Fermilab where the experiments took place, said, "Pinning down this coupling will tell us a lot about the behavior of the Higgs and how it might also interact with other particles we haven't discovered, like dark matter.
“Deeply understanding how the Higgs interacts with known particles could help lead us to physics beyond the Standard Model."
Researchers published their evidence of the Higgs boson-top quark relationship in the journal Physical Review Letters.