Excitement Builds Over Expected Higgs Boson Announcement
by Clara Moskowitz
Anticipation is rising over the expected announcement soon of more evidence for the existence of the long-sought Higgs boson particle.
The Higgs has been theorized for years, but never found. Humanity’s best hope of discovering the particle lies in the humongous atom smasherburied underneath Switzerland and France called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). There, physicists collide protons head-on to create explosions that give rise to new, exotic particles, including, maybe, the Higgs.
LHC researchers plan to share their latest findings at the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) in Melbourne, Australia, from July 4-11.
In December of last year, LHC scientists at the machine’s home facility, the CERN physics laboratory in Geneva, reported they’d seen hints of what could be the Higgs boson in an excess of particles weighing about 124 or 125 gigaelectronvolts, or GeV, a unit roughly equivalent to the mass of a proton. However, the physicists hadn’t accumulated enough data to announce a discovery, which in science requires a certain level of statistical significance called “five sigma.”…
(read more: Live Science) (image: CERN/ATLAS)
Elusive Higgs Boson Particle Closer Than Ever, Scientists Say
by Clara Moskowitz
New evidence makes it more likely than ever that 2012 will be the year physicists finally find the long-sought Higgs boson particle.
The particle has been predicted as the explanation for why all other particles have mass. It has earned the nickname the “God Particle,” largely from the popular media, though scientists haven’t warmed to the name. Yet despite years of searching, scientists have yet to detect the Higgs boson directly.
Now physicists at the Tevatron particle accelerator at Illinois’ Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory report hints in their data that suggest the particle may exist with a mass between 115 to 135 giga-electron volts, or GeV (for comparison, a proton has a mass of about 0.938 GeV).
“We see a distinct Higgs-like signature that cannot be easily explained without the presence of something new,” physicist Wade Fisher of Michigan State University said in a statement. “If what we’re seeing really is the Higgs boson, it will be a major milestone for the world physics community and will place the keystone in the most successful particle physics theory in history.”…
Imaged Above: A collision event recorded by Atlas at the LHC. Bloggers report rumours that evidence of the Higgs boson will be announced next Tuesday. Photograph: Cern/PA
A couple of blogs, including viXra and Peter Woit’s Not Even Wrong, have now posted rumours that the Atlas and CMS teams see Higgs-like signals around 125GeV, though they say the evidence is not robust enough to claim an official discovery.