Tough budgetary times spare no one, not even the last best hope of American researchers discovering the “god particle” on their home soil. Rumblings and rumors surfaced early yesterday that Fermilab’s Tevatron would not receive an extension to continue operations until 2014, and by later in the afternoon it was confirmed by the DOE’s science office: Tevatron will cease operations before the end of this year.
In particle physics, as in so many other parts of life, there are few things more useful than a trusty roll of tape.
Just before Labor Day, physicists working with Fermilab's Tevatron wrapped up a planned four-week accelerator shutdown and were looking forward to getting back to work. But pressure started building in the Tevatron's vacuum system, and experiments were halted while engineers isolated the problem. They found a faulty O-ring, which seals the vacuum between two superconducting magnets, according to an account on Fermilab Today.
Particle accelerators, which are not renowned for their real-world applications, could in fact be used to produce energy, according to a 34-year-old research paper that resurfaced this week.
It's not exactly intuitive -- accelerators require plenty of power to work -- but one of the founders of Fermilab wrote in 1976 that they could produce more energy than they use, because they're extremely good at fissioning atoms.
As particle physicists gather this week for a conference in Paris, they’re reporting progress toward finding the elusive Higgs boson, with two groups suggesting a Higgs discovery may not be far off.
Physicists from Fermilab in Illinois announced they combined the results of two experiments to refine their search for the Higgs, sometimes called the “God particle” because it is thought to endow particles with mass.
An interesting blog post from University of Padua physicist Tommaso Dorigo is churning up the rumor mill this morning, and it's so tantalizing we can't help but engage in a little rumormongering ourselves. So without any evidence or proof, we're just going to dive right into the meat of the matter: there's talk that researchers at the Tevatron Accelerator have discovered the Higgs Boson, beating the Large Hadron Collider to the punch and possibly confirming the standard model of particle physics.
While the LHC's in the shop for repairs from its massive breakdown last September, an older particle accelerator might beat them to finding the Higgs boson, the fundamental particle thought to give matter mass.
At a conference last week, Tevatron physicists threw down the gauntlet, vowing that by 2011, the Tevatron accelerator (located at Fermi National Accelerator Lab outside Chicago) will be able to definitively prove or disprove the existence of the Higgs boson.