“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]
We generally think of electrons as fundamental building blocks of atoms, elementary subatomic particles with no smaller components to speak of. But according to Swiss and German researchers reporting in Nature this week, we are wrong to think so. For the first time, the researchers have recorded an observation of an electron splitting into two different quasi-particles, each taking different characteristics of the original electron with it.
While the Large Hadron Collider prepares to fire up its proton beams and get back to particle smashing, another accelerator is dialing up the search for another elusive particle. The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia is turning up its electron beams in search of “dark” or “heavy” photons, and in doing so they hope to unlock the secrets of the so-called “dark sector” where things like dark matter are thought to live.
Ohio State University researchers have captured the first-ever images of atoms moving within a molecule using a novel technique that turns one of the molecules own electrons into a kind of flash bulb. The technique has yielded a new way of imaging molecules, but could one day help scientists to intimately control chemical reactions at the atomic scale.
Though researchers think the Higgs boson is running out of places to hide, the LHC has yet to provide conclusive proof of its existence. But the ATLAS experiment at the LHC--one of the two main experiments taking precise measurements of particle collisions--has found what is thought to be the first observation of a new particle at the world's largest science experiment.
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.
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.
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.