American Accelerator's Last Hurrah: 99.8% Certainty God Particle is Found
July 3, 2012 7:58 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
European Organization for Nuclear Research
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
supporting the existence of the Higgs boson to be presented.
On the eve of that event the
U.S. Department of Energy
, 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.
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.
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.
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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Isn't it crazy
7/4/2012 7:05:24 AM
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
7/4/2012 5:02:58 PM
Socialism is primarily about redistributing wealth and equality of outcomes, no matter what, and state control of capital. Public roads, police, military; those are all basic functions of state that even many libertarians would agree to.. after a little arguing over the wisdom of public roads/infrastructure (there's ways of introducing private sector involvement there asides from tolls).
The only real point you made, despite accusing someone else of "stupid talking points," was public schools. Look at what teacher unions generally do, look at the state of our public schools (where we spend the most of any country and get Washington DC schools as a result), and tell me that its an unambiguous 'win' for us there. There's a strong argument for a voucher-based privatized school system and regulated with minimum educational outcome requirements.
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
LHC Researchers Still Can't Find Higgs Boson, Settle for New "Chi" Particle
December 22, 2011, 7:30 PM
The End of Big Science: America's Top Particle Accelerator to Shut Down
September 29, 2011, 2:29 PM
CERN Invites Citizens to Help the LHC Find the Higgs Boson
August 9, 2011, 11:47 AM
CERN Turns on the LHC
September 10, 2008, 8:37 AM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Commercial Drones to Get Privacy Guidelines Via Executive Order
July 25, 2014, 5:34 PM
Pentagon's Priciest Project, F-35, Misses International Debut
July 25, 2014, 10:18 AM
Temple University Researchers Hit the Delete Button on HIV, Remove it from Human Cells
July 22, 2014, 7:39 AM
Most Popular Articles
Facebook Will Force Android, iOS Users to Use Messenger App This Week
July 29, 2014, 11:26 AM
Ford's Extensive Use of Aluminum in '15 F-150 Results in $395 Increase for Base Models
July 28, 2014, 3:02 PM
Sony's Xperia Z3 Gets Detailed in Leaked Photos
July 25, 2014, 2:30 PM
T-Mobile CEO John Legere is on the Warpath Again; Introduces $100, 10GB Family Plan
July 28, 2014, 10:12 AM
UK Drivers Must Now Give Their Cell Phones to Police After a Crash
July 29, 2014, 4:37 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information