Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

CERN scientists nearly positive on 'God particle' discovery

Atom smasher wraps up first 3 years with discovery and a puzzle

Article comments

Wrapping up the Large Hadron Collider's first three years of work, scientists are nearly positive they've found the elusive Higgs boson, also known as the "God particle."

Scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, said they are well beyond the regular threshold for verifying the discovery. Last summer, CERN researchers announced the discovery of a new particle and that early indications pointed to it being the Higgs boson, which has such great mystery and scientific importance that it has been dubbed the God particle.

"The signal is so strong, the probability of having it wrong is as low as the chance of flipping a coin 40 times and getting 40 heads in a row," said Sara Bolognesi, a CERN fellow, in a statement. She added that the certainty that they've found the Higgs boson has only been reinforced.

However, there is something puzzling about the particle's measurements that scientists have been taking. Researchers have found the particle decays in two slightly different ways, a discrepancy that could be blamed simply on a "statistical fluctuation" in their measurements. More tests are planned.

The Higgs boson is a theoretical sub-atomic particle that is considered to be the reason that everything has mass. Basically, without mass - without the Higgs boson - there would be no structure, no weight, to anything, so there would be no trees, no people, no plants, no stars.

For at least four decades, scientists have hunted for the particle, which has become a cornerstone of physics theory.

The CERN also noted a milestone reached on Tuesday by the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world.

The accelerator, which includes a 17-mile underground loop on the border of France and Switzerland, achieved a new level of efficiency, halving the space between the proton beams that are sped through the machine.

Monday's proton collisions marked the accelerator's three-year anniversary.

"High intensity beams are vital for the success of the [collider] program. More intense beams mean more collisions and a better chance of observing rare phenomena," said Steve Myers, a CERN director. "The [collider's] performance has exceeded all expectations over the last three years."

At the beginning of 2013, the Large Hadron Collider will focus on smashing protons with lead ions before going into a long shutdown for maintenance until the end of 2014. Scientists expect to resume work with the collider in 2015.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *