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Posts tagged Large Hadron Collider

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In search of the origin of mass

Particle physics explores the structure of matter by studying the behaviour of its most fundamental constituents. Despite the remarkable success of our theories, there remains much that is fundamental but unexplained. One of our most pressing  questions concerns the origin of mass. Our favoured theoretical explanation for the existence of mass also predicts the existence of a particle that has never been seen—the Higgs boson. In this review, we survey our knowledge of the Higgs boson and explain why, if the theory is correct, we should expect to make our first observation of the elusive Higgs in the next few years, when a major new particle physics facility starts operating. This will be the most powerful particle accelerator in the world. Although searching for the Higgs boson will be challenging in this environment, we hope that our experimental results will allow us to finally understand the origin of mass and extend our knowledge of the Universe yet further.

2006

Filed under Higgs Boson particle physics Large Hadron Collider LHC

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Elusive Higgs slips from sight again

17:31 04 May 2011 by David Shiga

Now you see it, now you don’t. Rather like a conjurer’s white rabbit, the elusive Higgs boson may have slipped from sight again.

A recent report hinted at a glimpse of the long-sought particle at a major detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. But a second detector has now checked its own data and found no corroborating sign of the particle.

The Higgs boson is thought to endow other particles with mass, but has yet to be observed. Four physicists associated with the LHC’s ATLAS detector claimed to have found an anomalous “bump” in its data, possibly due to Higgs particles decaying into pairs of photons. An abstract of their study was leaked online in April.

Bump, what bump?

Now physicists working on the LHC’s other main detector, CMS, have come up empty in an initial search for a similar bump in their data, according to a document shown to New Scientist. So ATLAS’s bump may not be due to Higgs particles, after all, but instead down to something mundane, such as an error in the analysis.

The internal CMS document has not been released to the public, so the result is still preliminary, as was the news of the original ATLAS bump, for that matter, which was leaked before it was reviewed or endorsed by the ATLAS collaboration.

Both leaks are a testament to the excitement surrounding the Higgs. With a result this hot on the horizon, expect more fits and starts in the months to come.

Filed under Higgs Particle God's particle theoretical physics particle physics Large Hadron Collider LHC CERN CMS ATLAS Universe

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Supernova emits X-ray stripes
Scientists have discovered X-ray stripes in the remains of a  supernova that may be the first direct evidence that these exploded  stars can accelerate particles to energies a hundred times higher than  those achieved with the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth.
The striking 3-D-esque image of the Tycho supernova remnant was made from a long observation with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. It could explain how some of the extremely energetic particles bombarding the Earth, called cosmic rays, are produced.
(source: incomprehensibleuniverse)

Supernova emits X-ray stripes

Scientists have discovered X-ray stripes in the remains of a supernova that may be the first direct evidence that these exploded stars can accelerate particles to energies a hundred times higher than those achieved with the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth.

The striking 3-D-esque image of the Tycho supernova remnant was made from a long observation with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. It could explain how some of the extremely energetic particles bombarding the Earth, called cosmic rays, are produced.

(source: incomprehensibleuniverse)

Filed under LHC large hadron collider supernovae astronomy particle physics astrophotography Chandra NASA space universe star

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Over 3x10^22 cosmic rays with energies of 10^17 eV or more, equal to or greater than the LHC energy, have struck the Earth’s surface since its formation. This means that Nature has already conducted the equivalent of about a hundred thousand LHC experimental programmes on Earth already – and the planet still exists.

CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), regarding the Large Hadron Collider possibly creating microscopic black holes

(source: incomprehensibleuniverse)

Filed under CERN LHC European Organization for Nuclear Research Large Hadron Collider physics black holes cosmic rays astrophysics theoretical physics Earth quote

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Big bang machine revs up again

Claudia Marcelloni / CERN

Workers walk around the ATLAS detector’s calorimeter during the Large Hadron Collider’s winter maintenance period. The LHC’s proton beams were restarted over the weekend.

After a winter maintenance break, Europe’s Large Hadron Collider went back into operation this weekend, beginning a marathon that scientists hope will lead to theory-twisting breakthroughs.

Argonne National Laboratory’s Thomas LeCompte, who is physics coordinator for the LHC’s ATLAS detector, said the particle accelerator resumed shooting proton beams around its 17-mile-round (27-kilometer-round) underground ring on Saturday night. James Gillies, a spokesman for Europe’s CERN nuclear research center, told me that proton-on-proton collisions could resume within a week.

During the next two years, the underground particle accelerator could produce data pointing to the nature of dark matter, or the discovery of a whole new class of unanticipated subatomic curiosities, or the existence of extra dimensions … or the presence of the Higgs boson, the so-called “God Particle” that could explain why some particles have mass and others don’t.


"By the end of next year, we hope very much that we will be able to say something about the Higgs," said Felicitas Pauss, head of international relations at Europe’s CERN nuclear research center.

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(source: incomprehensibleuniverse)

Filed under LHC large hadron collider CERN Higgs God's particle ATLAS dark matter extra dimensions

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Trained in nuclear physics, [Walter L.] Wagner heads a group called Citizens Against the Large Hadron Collider that he has established to warn against potential doomsday scenarios. One such scenario is the production of microscopic black holes that somehow manage to persist. This could happen, he conjectures, if Hawking’s radiation proves ineffective or nonexistent. After all, he points out, it has never actually been observed. The enduring mini-black hole would either pass right through Earth, like a neutrino, or be captured by Earth’s gravity. Suppose the latter is true. Once embedded in the core of our planet, he speculates, it could engorge itself with more and more material, growing bigger and bigger, and threaten our very existence. As Sancho and Wagno describe in their complaint:
‘Eventually, all of Earth would fall into such a growing micro-black hole, converting Earth into a medium-sized black hole, around which would continue to orbit the moon, satellites, the ISS [International Space Station] etc.’

Paul Halpern, Collider: The Search for the World’s Smallest Particles

(source: incomprehensibleuniverse)

Filed under LHC Large Hadron Collider black holes theoretical physics astrophysics universe