Tag Archives: CERN

Today the 4th of July Became Not Just a Day for Americans to Celebrate

What Today’s Higgs Boson Discovery Really Means

Earlier today, scientists from the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of a subatomic particle that’s consistent with the Higgs Boson. So, have physicists finally found the elusive particle? Short answer?Yes. Longer answer? Well…

If you were to say July 4, 2012 was the day the Higgs boson was officially discovered, you wouldn’t really be wrong. As CERN Director General Rolf Heuer put it, “As a layman, I think we have it.” That’s about as unequivocal a statement as you’re likely to get from CERN, which is understandably conservative when it comes to announcing possible physics-shattering discoveries. But then, there’s a second half to Heuer’s quote, one that probably won’t get as much attention: “But as a scientist, I have to say, ‘What do we have?'” That’s a huge question, one that won’t be answered today, maybe not this year. Today’s announcement is just the beginning of the Higgs story, definitely not the end.

So what, exactly, did we discover? Continue reading

A Reason to Celebrate 4th of July Worldwide… Maybe

Higgs boson revelation set for July 4: Fireworks, or dud?

Physicists in Europe are ready to offer up their latest findings on a mysterious subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. And the universe may never be the same.

Fireworks. Hot dogs. Beach blankets. Particle physics.

In this graphic from 2011, the red lines show how the LHC’s Atlas experiment registered the arrival of four particles called muons. They could have been the byproducts of a short-lived Higgs boson — or they could have been more humdrum events.

July 4 this year won’t be just about Americans celebrating Independence Day and unofficially kicking off the the summer vacation season. It could also bring news of some significance from physicists in Europe who’ve been in hot pursuit of a mysterious subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson — and a better glimpse at the nature of the universe.

The big-brain folks at CERN on Wednesday will be holding a seminar at which they plan to provide an update on the Higgs search, divulging the preliminary results of their 2012 data analysis. As it turns out, they acquired more data just between April and June of this year than they did in all of 2011.

“We now have more than double the data we had last year,” CERN’s director for research and computing, Sergio Bertolucci, said in a statement announcing the upcoming seminar. “That should be enough to see whether the trends we were seeing in the 2011 data are still there, or whether they’ve gone away. It’s a very exciting time.”

Last December, researchers said they had found “intriguing hints” of the Higgs boson, the existence of which has been predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics but never — yet — confirmed.

Besides having a much larger volume of data to work with, CERN says the researchers have gotten better at sussing out the pieces they truly want, getting more efficient “in picking out Higgs-like events from the millions of collisions occurring every second.”

Those subatomic head-on encounters are the raison d’etre of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, a massive, $8 billion underground particle accelerator on — rather, under — the France-Switzerland border.

A press conference following the seminar will spring whatever news there is upon the rest of the world.

reblogged: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57464945-76/higgs-boson-revelation-set-for-july-4-fireworks-or-dud/

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