Elusive "God Particle" Believed to be Discovered by CERN's LHC
July 4, 2012 3:30 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: Stephen van Vuuren)
The world of physics takes a bold leap forward with a single laborious finding
The world's two most advanced particle detector experiments --
-- have both detected signs of a particle that eluded physicists for almost a half century -- a particle researchers suspect is the Higgs boson.
I. Hunting for Higgs -- Inside the Most Expensive Machine Created by Man
The two detectors are housed within a 17 mile in circumference underground tunnel in the Alps, a tunnel which is chilled to temperatures colder then outer space. The particle accelerator and attached detection apparatus is a triumph of engineering, and at $10B USD is the single
most expensive piece of laboratory equipment
in the history of mankind.
Brought online in 2008, the collider suffered from
, typical of large particle accelerators. But before long it was setting records and gathering data which led to the
discovery of new exotic particles
The LHC track stretchs 17 miles and is colder than space. [Image Source: Entropy Bound]
But the biggest payoff for the high cost and years of effort came when the
European Organization for Nuclear Research
(CERN) announced that they had detected signs of the Higgs-like boson, a particle whose operation necessitates a super-powerful collider and world class detection equipment.
Just a couple days before
U.S. Department of Energy
published data from their
indicating that they were
99.8 percent (roughly 3σ) sure
that they had detected a Higgs-like boson. That level of confidence is called an "observation" in particle physics.
II. From "Observation" to "Discovery"
By contrast the threshold of confidence for a "discovery" is 5σ -- and CERN delivered precisely that on Wednesday.
Using data gleaned from
record 7 TeV and 8 TeV proton collisions
, the CMS and ATLAS teams jointly pinpointed a Higgs boson or similar particle to within the 125-126 GeV mass region, with the requisite 5σ confidence.
That result is strengthened by the fact that the observation at the Tevatron predicted a mass between 115 and 135 GeV.
The CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela comments:
The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found. The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks.
A CMS detector view of a Higgs boson creation from a 8 TeV collision. [Image Source: CERN]
spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti comments:
We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage, but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.
An ATLAS detector view of a Higgs boson creation from a 8 TeV collision. [Image Source: CERN]
III. The Hunt is Over, But the Discoveries Have Just Begun
The discovery of the new boson is a momentous day for particle physics, and one that comes
despite wise caution
on the parts of the men and women involved. Physicists were wary of jumping the gun and announcing the discovery, lest they make a mistake and alienate a public who already is less than highly interested in taking a trip into the cerebral land of modern particle physics.
The Higgs boson is theorized to give rise to the so-called Higgs mechanism, a form of electroweak symmetry breaking. A simple analogy of this complex effect is to think of 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.
To summarize in the simplest terms, researchers are now have detected a particle which they believe may give all standard particles their mass.
Finding the Higgs boson is a major step on the road to discovering the secrets of the universe.
[Image Source: NASA]
The discovery takes researchers a step closer to confirming the "Standard Model of particle physics", a theory which in turn opens the door to more advanced applications, such as string theory.
Much work remains to be done, though. The particle, while observed with a high measure of confidence, was poorly quantified, aside from its mass. By further probing observed Higgs-like bosons, researchers will be able to tune, accept, or reject certain compenents of Standard Model theory. These changes could help researchers better understand mysterious components that make up much of the non-visible universe --
such as dark matter
In short, Higgs boson -- also nicknamed the "Goddamn particle" or "God Particle", for short, by a famous Nobel laureate -- is only the first step in a bold journey for mankind, a journey which will take humans, quite literally where no man has gone before.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/5/2012 5:02:58 PM
I think so, but that'd be mixing religion into it and that's a big no-no here at Dailytech.... unless it's Tiffany's global warming religion that is.
7/7/2012 9:23:36 AM
Agreed; Its a secular world except when its inconvenient to the eco-facists.
“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
American Accelerator's Last Hurrah: 99.8% Certainty God Particle is Found
July 3, 2012, 7:58 PM
LHC Researchers Still Can't Find Higgs Boson, Settle for New "Chi" Particle
December 22, 2011, 7:30 PM
CERN Scientists One Step Closer to Elusive Higgs Boson, aka 'God Particle'
December 13, 2011, 9:51 AM
The End of Big Science: America's Top Particle Accelerator to Shut Down
September 29, 2011, 2:29 PM
Scientists Find First Signs of Dark Matter at LHC
February 1, 2011, 1:45 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Fraud Artist Engineered Stunning UK Jailbreak Via Typosquatting, Email
April 4, 2015, 2:57 PM
Food Chemists at Italy's Barilla Claim to Have Perfect Instant Noodles w/out Frying
March 26, 2015, 4:25 PM
Most Popular Articles
Raytheon $1.9 Billion Purchase of Websense Raises Tough Questions
April 20, 2015, 1:57 PM
HBO to VPN HBO Now Users: Prove You Live in U.S. or We Will Terminate You
April 21, 2015, 12:17 PM
AMD CEO: Windows 10 Will Launch at "The End of July"
April 20, 2015, 7:24 PM
Quick Note: Lady Macbath -- One Japanese Woman's Apple Themed Revenge
April 23, 2015, 11:47 AM
After Record-Setting Week, Samsung Predicts 70 Million GS6/GS6 Edge Sales
April 17, 2015, 8:39 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information