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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 TSS on 12/13/2011 11:25:14 AM , Rating: 2
In case you haven't heard, Neutrinos have been found in an experiment to travel faster then light. The experiment was repeated, same results.

IMO not finding a highly theorized particle is a little less exciting then finding E=MC2 is way, way off.

Personally though, i hope they don't find the higgs-boson, but instead find something else that's even more interesting and mind boggeling.


RE: Woohoo
By homebredcorgi on 12/13/2011 12:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
In case you haven't heard, those "two" experiments were done by the same group and the research was not peer reviewed. It would be very interesting if true, but it is far from confirmed.

With that said, I agree that not finding the Higgs would probably be the most significant no-result from an experiment ever. Maybe something other than string theory could get some reasonable funding and experiments at that point.


RE: Woohoo
By Strunf on 12/13/2011 12:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's not necessarily faster than light, a good explanation I heard was that actually the particles weren't moving along our universe but jumped into another and back again, it's as if they used a shortcut instead of doing the whole path. Anyway it's interesting to see the scientist "fighting" each other over this.


RE: Woohoo
By SPOOFE on 12/13/2011 7:04:31 PM , Rating: 2
It was a measurement error; there is a level of uncertainty over exactly WHEN the neutrinos STARTED their journey.


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