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Tevatron presents strong evidence Higgs boson was observed, but LHC needed to provide final verification

Tomorrow, while America celebrates July 4, mankind worldwide may celebrate a separate momentous event -- the discovery of the legendary Higgs boson.

I. Riding Into the Sunset -- Tevatron Goes Out With a Bang

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will tomorrow hold a special press conference at 9 a.m.  The event will provide an update to the world on the progress in the search for the critical particle using the Large Hadron Collider, the largest and most expensive laboratory apparatus in history.  Many physicists expect evidence supporting the existence of the Higgs boson to be presented.

On the eve of that event the U.S. Department of Energy's FermiLab, has published information that strongly hints at the existence of the Higgs boson, but stops short of providing explicit proof of its existence.

The data comes courtesy of Tevatron, a smaller accelerator 4 miles in circumference.  Located on the FermiLab grounds just east of Batavia, Ill., Tevatron was long the world's most powerful accelerator.  Its tests actually wrapped up last year, before the accelerator was permanently shut down, after the U.S. decided being a world leader in scientific research was no longer among its spending priorities.

But Tevatron's last hurrah has offered a tantalize tease of what lies ahead with the LHC.  Taking 10 years worth of data involving approximately 500 trillion particle collisions, the FermiLab teams offered up signs of elusive particle.

The Tevatron's greatest legacy may be in finding the first evidence of the Higgs boson.
[Source: FermiLab]

States Rob Roser a spokesman for one of the two Tevatron experiments, "Our data strongly point toward the existence of the Higgs boson.  But it will take results from the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe to establish a discovery."

The Tevatron was able to determine with relative accuracy that the particle it observed was a Higgs boson.  But the 1-in-550 chance that the finding was a statistical fluke (99.8 percent level of certainty) was unacceptably high in the laser-precise world of particle physics -- hence the LHC's firepower is necessary.

The LHC is better equipped to find the Higgs boson, with its higher beam energy, longer 17 mi. (circumference) track, and state-of-the-art detection gear.

II. Why the Higgs Boson Matters

The Higgs boson is the only fundamental subatomic particle predicted by the Standard Model that has yet to be observed.

But it is not mere novelty that drives researchers to observe this particular particle, one must understand the Standard Model of particle physics.  This pillar of physics theory predicts that the Higgs boson gives rise to the so-called Higgs mechanism, a sort of "sticky field" that coats particles like a spoon dipping through a jar of honey.  This "sticky" effect is thought to give protons, neutrons, and electrons -- the building blocks of matter that most of us are familiar with -- their mass.

Unfortunately the Higgs boson needs very high beam energy and luminosity in order to be provide enough mass and conditions favorable to a Higgs boson.  The Higgs boson is predicted to be less that 1.4 TeV, if the Standard Model is correct.

If the Higgs boson or similar electroweak symmetry breaking mechanism are not found to give the subatomic particles their mass, then it will be an intriguing open season for new theories.  But if the Higgs boson is observed, mankind will be content in knowing that we have quantified yet another facet of reality as we know it.

Nobel Prize laureate Leon Lederman popularized the hunt for the Higgs boson in his book "The God Particle", which chronicled his work hunting for the particle at FermiLab.  Professor Lederman originally intended the title to be "The Goddamn Particle" -- an expression of his frustration at the difficult observing it.  The title was subsequently shortened and the phrase "God particle" stuck as a colloquialism for the complex theoretical particle.

Higgs boson
A Nobel prize winner nicknamed the Higgs boson the "God particle", a less cheeky shortening of his longer name for it -- the "Goddamn particle". [Image Source: Gandee Vasan/Getty Images]

The latest results from his lab do little to end the frustration, but they do provide indication that a Higgs boson's mass would be between 115 and 135 GeV -- about 130 times the mass of the proton.

Now all that remains is to see what exactly the LHC has gleaned within that band of energies.

Was the Tevatron's blip, unlikely as it may be, a mere stastical fluctuation, or was it the first observation of the God particle?  The data from the LHC should offer evidence towards which possibility is true.

Sources: FermiLab, CERN

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RE: Isn't it crazy
By MrBlastman on 7/3/2012 11:16:17 PM , Rating: 5
Bleh our national priorities in America are all messed up. Washington is happy to throw money into a system cranking out more useless bankers and stupid service jobs while failing to ever address the real problem. It's a simple problem too that slips from the grasp of everyone in Washington.

Our money flows out of our hands and into other Countries pockets. In order to reverse the flow, you need to produce something of worth. The only way to produce something of worth is through solid engineering, bright minds and... science! By producing something of worth, you reverse the flow. Money comes back into our Country and the economy flourishes.

Yet, they ignore this, and throw money at stuff that is pointless.

Give us engineers, give us scientists, give us a lust for knowledge and a passion for discovery and you will captivate minds into bringing a spark back into our great nation. It is a travesty our nation fails to see this.

RIP Tevatron. May it serve not as a tombstone but a constant reminder of why we need to get back to the basics that made us great before.

This particle offers tremendous potential. Finally, a complete Standard Model and potential to help edge string theorists further towards their pursuit of the "deep" truth. We can't stop at a particle, we must go deeper down the hole! Maybe, just maybe, some child in America out there will read about this and thing... Hey, maybe there's more to this boson than meets the eye. And thus, we hatch the next great scientific mind.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By StevoLincolnite on 7/4/2012 12:13:39 AM , Rating: 3
Our money flows out of our hands like a raging torrent into other Countries pockets.


It doesn't help when your government spent trillions? Bailing out failing companies when that money could have been used to create more jobs via the creation of new or upgraded infrastructure like new Roads, Power Plants, heck give everyone fiber internet for that much, the Aussies for instance are doing it for 43 billion...

RE: Isn't it crazy
By MrBlastman on 7/4/2012 2:12:33 AM , Rating: 1
The Aussies also have the great, stupid internet filter. Sorry, I don't want that kind of censorship in our nation and our Citizens should be willing to fight to the death over it. Should. Most aren't. They're too busy watching primetime television sucking on garbage while the electrons rule their lives.

Roads, Power Plants and Fiber internet wouldn't have solved anything. Roads would have put people to work temporarily so they could piss their earned money into what? More "stuff" that was made from overseas--so the end benefactor would once again be foreign nations.

Power Plants would never make any real progress due to all the tree hugging hippies pissing an moaning about the environmental impact in some area they don't even live in, have no relatives in and zero attachment to other than their philosophical lunacy.

Fiber Internet would ultimately stifle all productivity. People would take that free fiber internet and... download more porn on it. They'd also take a sliver of their money and buy more hard drives--the cheap kinds... made overseas. They have to save all that precious porn. It isn't like the internet is flooded with it or anything.

So no, none of those solutions would have solved much. It would have lead to people being as poor as they were before, a little bit fatter and a little bit less likely to develop prostate cancer... sooner. ;)

RE: Isn't it crazy
By fake01 on 7/4/2012 3:27:07 AM , Rating: 3
'The Aussies also have the great, stupid internet filter.'

Ahh, no we don't. It never passed.

So we are getting fibre internet and non censored internet.

Good thing about the fibre network roll-out in Australia is that they are focusing on new estate and regional areas first to ensure the majority of Australians get access to it.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By MrBlastman on 7/4/2012 2:05:00 PM , Rating: 3
Hmm it seems I'm partially mistaken, I apologize. It hasn't passed... yet. However, the Australian Communications and Media Authority does maintain and have the ability to blacklist sites for the country it deems inappropriate--correct me if I'm wrong.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By FaaR on 7/4/2012 2:33:15 AM , Rating: 3

Since the US functions using borrowed money, in reality that flow isn't actually directed as much outwards as it is inwards... ;)

Your oversized military, warmongering demagogue politicians and badly designed social infrastructure is is what's truly hampering you guys. As an example of the latter, the reliance on vampiric insurance companies to fund health care in your country for example is causing said health care to cost around 2x more than anywhere else in the western world for similar level of treatment.

If you people weren't so paranoidly afraid of the word "social", and like pretty much ALL of Europe instituted socially funded health care (like you already do with police, courts, military and so on), costs would plummet and productivity and quality of life throughout society would rise when everyone can seek treatment for their problems rather than get crippled by them.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By Amiga500 on 7/4/2012 5:30:18 AM , Rating: 4

It continually amazes me that Americans on average spend twice as much for poorer health care than most of the "socialist" European countries.

Unfortunately, as you indicate, the fear that socialist is one step from communist really is becoming a hindrance to US progress.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By TSS on 7/4/12, Rating: 0
RE: Isn't it crazy
By Belard on 7/4/2012 7:05:24 AM , Rating: 3
Rather than just repeating stupid talking points... you have to be specific in the garbage you are talking about.

When you go to our public schools, drive on our public roads, call the police when there is trouble, and have the military fight our wars - thats part of our SOCIALISM.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By Ringold on 7/4/12, Rating: 0
RE: Isn't it crazy
By maugrimtr on 7/4/2012 7:42:22 AM , Rating: 2
Socialism is also about keeping that damn 1% restricted to opening their mouths. In the US, they are also allowed to open their wallets and politicians are not put under severe restrictions as to the amount, source and conditions placed on any funding they receive directly or indirectly (indirectly being those disgusting SuperPacs that can be anonymously setup).

Comparing European Socialism to anything like communism is ridiculous. Communism is anathema to any and all democracies.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By SPOOFE on 7/5/2012 3:55:40 PM , Rating: 2
Socialism is also about keeping that damn 1% restricted to opening their mouths.

False. Socialism promises to do such a thing, but all it has succeeded in doing is keeping that damn 1% even more strongly entrenched.

The problem with socialism is socialism. The problem with capitalism is capitalists.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By MrBlastman on 7/4/2012 11:06:02 AM , Rating: 1
The reason we spend more is because the European nations force our companies to give them huge discounts on drugs and supplies--and in turn, our companies pass those costs on to our citizens through increased prices and rates.

We are indirectly subsidizing Europe's false security.

It doesn't matter, though, as the EU is going to implode soon enough anyways. The Europeans brag about how we subsist on debt, yet every single day more and more debt is being cranked out to feed a system over there doomed to fail.

The one thing Europe is doing right is CERN. Thank goodness for that, too. The American lust for material things and money is sickening to say the least and we could learn from Europeans on that.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By tamalero on 7/4/2012 11:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
>citation needed

redirecting the blame is always fun.. dont you think?

RE: Isn't it crazy
By MrBlastman on 7/4/2012 2:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not redirecting the blame, I'm stating a fact. Go Google it if you want to learn more.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By KFZ on 7/4/2012 1:11:57 PM , Rating: 1
Insurance companies don't provide the healthcare, they provide a financial service based around risk assessment. It doesn't cost thousands of dollars to be treated in the emergency room because of the insurance, it's because of the healthcare system.

Healthcare costs do not go down by simply giving more people insurance, the bills are still there, only covered by public money. Costs also do not go down when money is stolen from people through a mandate which demands payment into a system regardless of participation. Costs do not go down when 26 year olds can stay on their parents' plans, either.

Yes we socially cover things like emergency services because they serve the community as a whole. There is no public interest with my health, it is my body and my interest.

You completely ignore things like unnecessary treatment, misdiagnosis, big pharma, malpractice suits, lack of trained professionals, equipment costs, infrastructure, overhead and bureaucracy along with a little something called the "baby boom" generation of seniors, who need constant procedures, surgery, medication and personal care.

Please don't comment on matters with such a narrow-minded view of the subject. By the by, the Euro Zone is not *exactly* a model for success, is it?

RE: Isn't it crazy
By marsovac on 7/4/2012 3:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
The EURO ZONE is not what mandated the more "Social" approach to health care.

It was part of the countries way before the EU originated.

The approach the EU in global has now is just a product of what the countries had before.

And by the way Croatia has not entered the EU and has the same approach to health care.

As many other countries have or had before joining.

And go figure, all of those countries are capitalist ?

RE: Isn't it crazy
By Ringold on 7/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: Isn't it crazy
By Solandri on 7/4/2012 1:50:02 AM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't entirely blame the system. I think cultural pressures are a strong part of it too. The West prizes individuality - "follow your dreams," "do what you enjoy," "let your heart lead you." Consequently you end up with a lot of people training for things they like to do, not necessarily things which need doing.

Eastern (Confucian) culture prizes sacrifice for the betterment of your social group (family, company, neighborhood, nation). In the West it's subtly ridiculed - e.g. the guy who wanted to be a painter, but became a doctor because he knew he'd have to provide for his family. Or the businessman who works from 8am to 8pm, and gets home after his kids are in bed. The message being that the Western way is better.

I think many in the West use the extreme cases of Eastern behavior to justify their extreme cases of Western behavior. The truth is, either taken to the extreme is bad.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By MrBlastman on 7/4/2012 2:06:01 AM , Rating: 3
At least bankers have degrees that qualify them for a variety of jobs, all of which are fundamentally good for society, like allocating savings in form of loans, advising people on retirement funds, etc.

The good ones do good, and they are far and few. Trust me, I know all too well. I've been around and in the industry my whole life and seen it from the inside. For every honest guy there are at least four or five waiting to stab them in the back and eat their children.

The banks aren't lending right now after receiving tons of money. It's not like they should be--they were lending irresponsibly before everything imploded due to irresponsible legislation forcing them to lend to everyone that had a pulse.

Liberal arts degrees are for the most part pretty useless. They teach stuff you can learn on your own if you really want to--and if you have the talent to make the degree work you probably don't need the degree in the first place.

Hence, we need more engineers and scientists. People with brains on their shoulders that can actually produce something of value with their hands. People that can lead everyone else to a better, brighter more industrialized future.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By Ringold on 7/4/12, Rating: 0
RE: Isn't it crazy
By slunkius on 7/4/2012 1:17:07 AM , Rating: 1
Our money flows out of our hands and into other Countries pockets. In order to reverse the flow, you need to produce something of worth. The only way to produce something of worth is through solid engineering, bright minds and... science!

unless product of your solid engineering and science get stolen and copied by china. you get the costs of R&D, china gets $$$.

RE: Isn't it crazy
By Solandri on 7/4/2012 1:53:36 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe we should stop trying to switch to the metric system then. :D
The Tupolev Tu-4 ... was a reverse-engineered copy of the U.S.-made Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

The Soviet Union used the metric system, thus 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) thick sheet aluminum and proper rivet lengths were unavailable. The corresponding metric-gauge metal was thicker; as a result, the Tu-4 weighed about 3,100 lb (1,400 kg) more than the B-29, with a corresponding decrease in range and payload.

(Lots more in the wiki if you want to get a good laugh about excessive copying.)

RE: Isn't it crazy
By tHeMrAw on 7/8/2012 12:59:16 AM , Rating: 2
Yes! I agree with this what happened to the time when people looked up to and dreamed of being scientists, philosophers, a human of critical thinking! Now I'm not trying to insult people because I know there are those people out there like i described but I find that too often today people look up to the likes of gangsters/thugs, snookie like celebrities, and just overall stupid people. I want to live in a world where critical thinking is the norm where people live everyday to contribute to the advancement of humanity im hopeful this will happen in my lifetime I want the world to rediscover the passion for knowledge and science there is so much we can create....well I'm done ranting.

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