Skip to comments.Physicists Anxiously Await New Data on ‘God Particle’
Posted on 12/12/2011 10:28:18 PM PST by neverdem
High noon is approaching for the biggest manhunt in the history of physics. At 8 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday morning, scientists from CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, are scheduled to give a progress report on the search for the Higgs boson infamously known as the God particle whose discovery would vindicate the modern theory of how elementary particles get mass.
The report comes amid rumors that the two competing armies of scientists sifting debris from hundreds of trillions of proton collisions in CERNs Large Hadron Collider, or L.H.C., outside Geneva, have both finally seen hints of what might turn out be the elusive particle when more data is gathered next year.
Alternatively, the experimentalists say that a year from now they should have enough data to rule out the existence of the most popular version of the Higgs boson, sending theorists back to their blackboards in search of another explanation of why particles have mass.
So the whole world will be watching.
Among them will be Lisa Randall, a Harvard particle theorist and author of the new book Knocking on Heavens Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World. In an interview with Dennis Overbye of The Times, Dr. Randall provided this guide to the action for those of us in the bleachers.
Q. What is the Higgs and why is it important?
A. The name Higgs refers to at least four things. First of all, there is a Higgs mechanism, which is ultimately responsible for elementary particles masses. This is certainly one of the trickier aspects of particle physics to explain, but essentially something like a charge not an electric charge permeates the vacuum, the state with no particles.
These charges are associated with a Higgs field...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The Higgs Boson, if found, would only indicate that the standard model is on track with how particles get mass. There would still be huge unanswered questions. And there’s at least an equal chance it won’t be found and a whole different model is required.
Why in the world this is called the God Particle makes no sense to me.
God only knows.
Does this explain anything about women?
That is explained in an article linked in the NYT article's comments.
Its theistic nickname was coined by Nobel-prize winning physicist Leon Lederman, but Higgs himself is no fan of the label. "I find it embarrassing because, though I'm not a believer myself, I think it is the kind of misuse of terminology which I think might offend some people."
It wasn't even Lederman's choice. "He wanted to refer to it as that 'goddamn particle' and his editor wouldn't let him," says Higgs.
from the article:
“Q. What is the Higgs and why is it important? “
I was immediately reminded of an old SNL bit, with Dan Akroyd as Tom Snyder interviewing Ray Charles-
Akroyd: Ray, what the h*ll re the blues and how the h*ll do you get ‘em?
Huh? They have seen (past) when they gather more data next year (future). That *is* one strange particle all right.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
I’ve been predicting the jig is up for the Higgs.
There is a bass-ackwards understanding?/belief about gravity.
Puthoff and Sakharov had it right.
sending theorists back to their blackboards in search of another explanation of why particles have mass.Don't bother guys, I've found it.
After all, they do last 'forever'.