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  (Source: BBC)
Two separate experiments at the Large Hadron Collider bring scientists closer to elusive building block of Universe

For a week, anticipation has been building for the press conference held this morning by scientists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. Speculation abounded that they would announce evidence of the misnamed "God particle," the Higgs boson, which gives all matter mass.

So, now that 8 a.m. ET on December 13, 2011 has passed, are we any closer to finding the so-called God particle? Well, maybe.

According to the BBC, researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland say that two experiments there may have resulted in glimpses of the Higgs boson. However, they do not have enough evidence yet to make a solid claim.

So why all the fuss? 

"The Higgs is the final piece of the Standard Model of Particle Physics which is, itself, the crowning achievement of subatomic physics. Called the 'God Particle' by some, the Higgs is responsible for giving all the other flecks of matter in this Universe the remarkable property we think of as mass. Physicists have been hunting the Higgs for decades," explains Adam Frank at NPR's 13.7 blog.

Evidence of the Higgs would be one of the most significant scientific advances in 60 years. 

The two separate experiments at the LHC — Atlas and CMS — have been searching for the basic building block of the Universe independently. "Because the Standard Model does not predict an exact mass for the Higgs, physicists have to use particle accelerators like the LHC to systematically look for it across a broad search area," the BBC reports.

Both experiments have reportedly seen a data "spike" around a mass of 125 Gigaelectronvolts. While this isn't enough to confirm the Higgs' discovery, it is enough to generate mass excitement (pun definitely intended) in scientific circles.

Perhaps now all the citizens CERN recruited to help find the Higgs can go back to their day jobs.

Sources: BBC, NPR



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RE: Woohoo
By yomamafor1 on 12/13/2011 11:18:24 AM , Rating: -1
You mean because the religious interest groups had repeatedly lobbied the Congress to stop funding on our SSC?


RE: Woohoo
By MrBlastman on 12/13/2011 12:51:54 PM , Rating: 4
Oh get a life. The reason the SSC was cancelled was because of budget overruns and constant, repeated bloat of the bottom line. It rose from 4.4 billion to over 12 billion and was eventually canned as a result of several factors, primarily being budget and mis-management.

Quit trying to cry the sky is falling. Religious groups have as much to gain as the rest of the world through the discoveries that science may reveal--including the higgs boson.

With that said, it's a darn shame the SSC was cancelled at the time. However, when you think about it--we've come a long way in computational power since then so I have doubts if we'd have been able to fully harness the capabilities of it until years later. Either way, it was a big loss to the scientific community. I wish upon wish that more Americans would become emboldened by the sciences and pursue them--but alas, the lust for that nasty thing known as money draws them to far less useful areas of our society.


RE: Woohoo
By retrospooty on 12/13/2011 1:00:28 PM , Rating: 1
"The reason the SSC was cancelled was because of budget overruns and constant, repeated bloat of the bottom line."

Since when did budget overrun and bottom line bloat ever close any govt. dept? Off the top of my head, I cant think of a govt. program that isnt operating that way.


RE: Woohoo
By MrBlastman on 12/13/2011 1:26:41 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly, and that is the real crime here. They flush science routinely down the drain in our Government, only to pay for big bailouts, lavish planes and "social" programs (Ahem... Acorn) instead of the important things.

Our Government is a joke. :(


RE: Woohoo
By yomamafor1 on 12/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Woohoo
By MrBlastman on 12/13/2011 1:58:50 PM , Rating: 3
Are you seriously lumping all religious groups into the "fundamentalist" category? If you are, your perception of religion is falsely skewed and you really should take a look at reality again as it has fallen from the grasp of your fingertips. You accused the project of failing due to Religious reasons yet in another post, admit to the weak initial four billion dollar budget being a big reason.

Make up your mind man, you aren't making any sense here.

Yes, real world data is the only definite way to be used in science (as that is a major part of the scientific method)--the only reason I even mentioned computers was not due to theoretical modelling but instead, raw analysis of the outpouring data from the collder itself (which on its own is a massive undertaking computationally speaking).


RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/13/2011 2:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
The religious response to the discovery of yet another piece of scientific evidence pointing to the universe as something govered by the laws of physics rather than the laws of a deity, is usually followed by the predicatable but incorrect reponse that the particle had to be created by something and that something is the Deity who governs everything.


RE: Woohoo
By JediJeb on 12/14/2011 6:48:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
predicatable but incorrect reponse that the particle had to be created by something


Devil's Advocate: What created it?


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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