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Old 03-14-2013, 05:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Confirmed! Newfound Particle Is the Higgs

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A newfound particle discovered at the world's largest atom smasher last year is, indeed, the Higgs boson, the particle thought to explain how other particles get their mass, scientists reported today (March 14) at the annual Rencontres de Moriond conference in Italy.

Physicists announced on July 4, 2012, that, with more than 99 percent certainty, they had found a new elementary particle weighing about 126 times the mass of the proton that was likely the long-sought Higgs boson. The Higgs is sometimes referred to as the "God particle," to the chagrin of many scientists, who prefer its official name.

But the two experiments, CMS and ATLAS, hadn't collected enough data to say the particle was, for sure, the Higgs boson, the last undiscovered piece of the puzzle predicted by the Standard Model, the reigning theory of particle physics.

Now, after collecting two and a half times more data inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) — where protons zip at near light-speed around the 17-mile-long (27 kilometer) underground ring beneath Switzerland and France — physicists say the particle is the Higgs. [In Photos: Searching for the Higgs Boson]

"The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is," said CMS spokesperson Joe Incandela in a statement.

Dave Charlton, ATLAS spokesperson agreed, the new results "point to the new particle having the spin-parity of a Higgs boson as in the Standard Model," referring to a quantum property of elementary particles.

To confirm the particle as the Higgs boson, physicists needed to collect tons of data that would reveal its quantum properties as well as how it interacted with other particles. For instance, a Higgs particle should have no spin and its parity, or the measure of how its mirror image behaves, should be positive, both of which were supported by data from the ATLAS and CMS experiments.

Even so, the scientists are not sure whether this Higgs boson is the one predicted by the Standard Model or perhaps the lightest of several bosons predicted to exist by other theories.

Seeing how this particle decays into other particles could let physicists know whether this Higgs is the "plain vanilla" Standard Model Higgs. Detecting a Higgs boson is rare, with just one observed for every 1 trillion proton-proton collisions. As such, the LHC physicists say they need much more data to understand all of the ways in which the Higgs decays.

From what is known about the particle now, physicists have said the Higgs boson may spell the universe's doom in the very far future. That's because the mass of the Higgs boson is a critical part of a calculation that portends the future of space and time. Its mass of 126 times the mass of the proton is just about what would be needed to create a fundamentally unstable universe that would lead to a cataclysm billions of years from now.

"This calculation tells you that many tens of billions of years from now there'll be a catastrophe," Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., said last month at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"It may be the universe we live in is inherently unstable, and at some point billions of years from now it's all going to get wiped out," added Lykken, a collaborator on the CMS experiment.
http://news.yahoo.com/confirmed-newf...130317830.html

Awesome, just awesome.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I know they spend a lot of money finding it.

And I know its got something to do with the building blocks of the universe.

But now we've found it, what do we do with it?
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I know they spend a lot of money finding it.

And I know its got something to do with the building blocks of the universe.

But now we've found it, what do we do with it?
Study it. Observe how it decays into other protons. It can give us the clues we need to see how the Universe came to be and also how it may come to an end. Glad this has been confirmed. This discovery is ridiculous. Can't wait to see what reslutls they get from further tests. For years many scientists believed this Higgs Proton didn't even exist. Amazing.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Spite View Post
I know they spend a lot of money finding it.

And I know its got something to do with the building blocks of the universe.

But now we've found it, what do we do with it?
Once they trap that sucker and put it in a 3d printer we'll be off to kick some Klingon ass.



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Old 03-18-2013, 02:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah its an amazing overall feat of human ingenuity! I mean Higgs figured that there must be this particle for the universe/mass to operate how it does.

I too often wonder myself the benefit of such discoveries though, I mean does it put food on anyone's table or increase quality of life somehow? Maybe, probably even. All we are generally informed on though, is what the particle is responsible for and not the benefit of finding it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There are two reasons for doing research on this subject:

1. To answer the question everyone always wants to know - how does it all work and how did it all get here. We come closer and closer to finding out all the answers, and things like this are a big step towards that.

2. Who knows when the information on how the universe works/comes into existence can benefit us. It might be a major player in intergalactic space travel or any number of things that we aren't sure how to do yet.

We have a very limited number of years left on this planet before we pollute it to a point where we can't live here anymore, or a meteor comes and wipes us out, or if none of that happens the sun will definitely kill all life on earth in about 500 million years. We need to know as much about space and the universe as possible to make sure we have all the information we need to make progress towards leaving this place/finding a new planet/place to live.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by M.C View Post
There are two reasons for doing research on this subject:

1. To answer the question everyone always wants to know - how does it all work and how did it all get here. We come closer and closer to finding out all the answers, and things like this are a big step towards that.

2. Who knows when the information on how the universe works/comes into existence can benefit us. It might be a major player in intergalactic space travel or any number of things that we aren't sure how to do yet.

We have a very limited number of years left on this planet before we pollute it to a point where we can't live here anymore, or a meteor comes and wipes us out, or if none of that happens the sun will definitely kill all life on earth in about 500 million years. We need to know as much about space and the universe as possible to make sure we have all the information we need to make progress towards leaving this place/finding a new planet/place to live.
Exciting times. I wonder how long it'l be until they can start giving the public information on the hows and whys etc. A few years obviously but I'm looking forward to it.
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