The NASA Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is at the center of a new hype recently started in the international scientific community. Some experts believe that the former Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), which is especially suited for observing highly energetic photons coming in from pulsars, neutron stars, blazars, quasars, and other such objects, may also be the right tool for observing the elusive Higgs boson. This is the goal of the largest physics experiment ever constructed on our planet, the CERN-operated Large Hadron Collider (LHC), NewScientist
The Higgs boson would be the fifth one in the Standard Model, the leading and only theory particle physics has at this point of explaining everything around us. The Higgs, also known to some as the “God Particle” is believed to be responsible for making energy acquire mass, and vice-versa. Detecting it would validate the SM, and would also put astrophysicists and theoretical physicists at rest. If the Higgs is not found, then the last decades of research have been for nothing, and Science would need to start all over again.
Fermi was launched last year, with the great purpose of finding traces of gamma-rays. This particular type of radiation is believed to be formed when the WIMP (weakly interacting massive particles) that allegedly make up dark matter annihilate each other. It is hypothesized that, if two massive particles collided (each with a mass of 50 and 200 gigaelectronvolts GeV), then two gamma-ray photons, or a photon and a massive particle would be produced. Some experts believe that one of those massive particles may in fact be a Higgs boson.
“If there is a strong connection between the physics of dark matter and the physics of mass generation, those dark matter particles probably like to interact with the Higgs boson, says University of California in Irvine (UCI) expert Tim Tait, the leader of a team that developed the idea. “FERMI has very good prospects of discovering the Higgs if this model is true,” the expert adds. The LHC is still a good two years away before being able to make any claims on the discovery of the Higgs, so there is still time for Fermi to work its magic.