The Higgs Boson turns 10! – The ATLAS Collaboration publishes results of a decade of measurements, including key contributions from SFU physicists

July 04, 2022

July 4th marks the Tenth Anniversary of the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN (Geneva). SFU physicists played pivotal roles in this discovery working on two specific “decay channels” of the Higgs boson (𝐻 → 𝑊𝑊 and 𝐻 → 𝜏𝜏). The Higgs boson is central to the theory of how subatomic particles gain mass, and the Universe would be a very different place without it. This discovery led to the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert. More information can be found on the ATLAS Collaboration web site:

ATLAS published today in the journal Nature, a comprehensive overview of the status of our knowledge of the Higgs boson. Since its discovery, the SFU Particle Physics group, as members of the ATLAS collaboration, have made several key contributions to the measurement of the Higgs boson. For example, the first measurement of the Higgs boson coupling to fermions (through the determination of the Higgs boson coupling to tau-leptons), the first determination of the Higgs boson interaction strength with top-quarks, and the first observation of the Vector Boson Fusion Higgs Production (VBF) in its decays to W-bosons (which is sensitive to the Higgs boson coupling to W-bosons). All these measurements confirm that the Higgs boson coupling strength is proportional to the mass of fundamental particles.

In addition to making key contributions directly to the groups working on specific decay channels of the Higgs boson, SFU physicists work on several aspects of the analysis of the detector data to determine the properties of the particles emerging from the high-energy proton-proton collisions at the LHC (e.g. jet calibration). SFU has also played a leading role in the creation and provision of the enormous worldwide distributed computing resources required to analyze the very large dataset from ATLAS. SFU hosts the Canadian ATLAS Tier-1 Data Centre, which is one of only ten Tier-1 centres worldwide to store and analyze the data. 

SFU continues to play an important role in leading projects for Run-3 of the LHC, such as the development of large radius tracking which enables ATLAS to be much more sensitive to long lived particles predicted by new phenomena beyond the Standard Model. SFU is also leading upgrades to the ATLAS detector, like the ATLAS new Inner Tracker (ITk) needed for the High-Luminosity LHC, which will start taking data near the end of this decade. 

Further information can be obtained from SFU members of ATLAS:

- Prof. Mike Vetterli (
- Prof. Bernd Stelzer (
- Prof. Matthias Danninger (
- Prof. Dugan O’Neil (