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Passing the torch:  the Higgs at LEP and beyond

Kara Hoffman (Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago)

LEP, the Large Electron Positron Collider at CERN, was originally conceived to make precision measurements of the Standard Model, a theory which has been tremendously successful in describing the behavior of the most fundamental particles found in nature; however, one essential piece of the Standard Model remains at large: the Higgs boson required to endow the observed spectrum of particles with mass.

In its final year of running, LEP was driven to the highest attainable energies in an effort to maximize the combined Higgs discovery potential of the four LEP experiments, and in its final months it began to yield tantalizing hints of something unexpected in the data...  Could it be the elusive Higgs?  or even a first glimpse of physics beyond the Standard Model?  How long will it take for existing or future experiments to confirm or rule out the LEP Higgs scenario?

I will discuss the Higgs search in the final days of LEP and its legacy.

Kara Hoffman received her B.S. in physics from the University of Kentucky in 1992.  She then joined CDF while a graduate student at Purdue University where she worked on research and development for the Run II silicon vertex detector and conducted a search for new particle resonances in the b bbar spectrum using Run I data.  After receiving her Ph.D. in 1998, Kara accepted a CERN fellowship and began working on charged Higgs searches with the OPAL collaboration at LEP, and later became involved in the LEP Higgs working group. Since the decommissioning of LEP, she has returned to CDF as a research associate with The University of Chicago where she will also work on muon collider development.


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