“We have discovered a new particle,” CERN director general Rolf Heuer said Wednesday morning. “A boson. Most probably a Higgs boson.” Even the most anticipated news in science does not come without some caveats.
Still, all signs point to a discovery today, arguably one of the most important findings in modern physics. The inscrutable Higgs boson, carrier of mass and final puzzle piece of physics’ prevailing theory, may have finally been found. Now comes the fun part — depending on what it looks like, this saga may be just beginning. [UPDATED]
Professor Antonio Ereditato, the man who found neutrinos traveling faster than light late last year, has resigned from his job at the Gran Sasso physics laboratory in Italy. Attempts to reproduce the amazing superluminal result were not successful, and the finding was eventually blamed on a loose cable.
Before it stopped colliding for good, America’s defunct Tevatron collider saw a hint of the elusive Higgs boson, physicists announced Wednesday. Even more interesting: Scientists spotted something unusual in the same energy range where their European colleagues glimpsed something unusual at the Large Hadron Collider last winter.
By Ann FinkbeinerPosted 01.06.2012 at 1:01 pm 30 Comments
in the beginning of the beginning, the exploding hot universe was full of elementary particles, but the particles had no mass. The universe also contained force fields, and one of those fields, the Higgs, cooled and condensed into a quantum liquid. The liquid dragged on the other particles, giving them mass. The liquid rippled, and the ripples formed a new particle, called the Higgs.
Physicists at CERN may have caught the first whiffs of the elusive Higgs boson, researchers announced this morning, but more numbers must be crunched before anyone will claim its discovery. Bumps in signals at the Large Hadron Collider are not surefire proof of the so-called god particle, at least not yet — but at the very least they're enough to keep faith in our modern theories of physics.
There's no official announcement yet--that comes next week--but word on the street and around the cafeteria at CERN says that scientists may announce that they've glimpsed the elusive Higgs boson at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
Remember in September when neutrinos were observed moving faster than the speed of light, potentially overturning everything we thought we knew about physics? It was met with all sorts of skepticism and dubiety, so the physicists decided to replicate their experiment and take new measurements.
Well, the new results are in, and they confirm the original findings.
The physicists who claimed to see neutrinos moving faster than light are moving quickly to replicate their experiment, hoping to substantiate their results before submitting them for publication. Since announcing their bizarre, seemingly impossible findings last month, physicists around the world have offered a few possible explanations. But perhaps the best test will be a retest.
So it turns out that Einstein may not have been wrong about the universal speed limit. Not only is special relativity safe, it provides an explanation for those faster-than-light neutrinos. They’re not breaking the light-speed barrier; they just appear to be, thanks to the relativistic motion of the clocks checking their speed.
As we all know, the Large Hadron Collider has been grievously behind the times technologically. Sure, its giant array of superconducting magnets, kept cool by almost a hundred tons of liquid helium is pretty neat, and the muon spectrometer is no slouch. But the LHC hasn't put it all in a convenient smartphone app -- until now.
With LHSee, released today by CERN's app specialists, you can investigate the fundamental nature of the universe -- the nature of spacetime, the origin of matter -- while you wait for the bus.