Search for ‘God Particle’ is Nearly Over, as CERN Prepares to Announce Findings

At a special meeting at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, experts and scientists from the two main experiments will disclose their latest findings considering the God Particle.

The Large Hadron Collider is the largest and highest-energy particle accelerator in the world which is expected to answer the most fundamental questions of physics, promoting the understanding of the deepest laws of nature. Photo: John McNab/ Flickr

Scientists from the ATLAS and CMS teams regularly present issues of their most recent data, there is especial excitement around the seminar which is to be held on December 13.

The Higgs boson (in other words, God Particle) is a hypothetical massive elementary particle that is supposed to exist by the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics. Its existence may prove a means of resolving inconsistencies in the Standard Model.

Experiments attempting to find the particle are currently being performed using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, and were performed at Fermilab’s Tevatron until Tevatron’s closure in late 2011.

As for the term CERN, it is also used to refer to the laboratory itself, which employs just under 2400 full-time employees/workers, and about 7901 scientists and engineers representing 608 universities and research facilities and 113 nationalities.

CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure required for high-energy physics research. Plenty of experiments have been constructed at CERN by international collaborations to make use of them. It is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web.

The main site at Meyrin also has a large computer centre containing very powerful data-processing facilities primarily for experimental data analysis and, because of the need to make them available to researchers elsewhere, has historically been a major wide area networking hub.

Although experts are likely not to reveal final proof of whether or not the particle exists, their data could be strong enough to make some guesses one way or the other.

So, the finding can confirm some common theories on the point about the way atoms are put together, identifying a number of Higgs bosons with different masses or disproving the particle entirely can change many assumptions of modern physics.

Dr Alan Barr, of Oxford University, the Physics Coordinator for the ATLAS UK collaboration, said the meeting could give an intermediate result rather than conclusive evidence, but supposed that there “could be some surprises.”

“It is anticipated there may be some interest in this because we collected five times more data this year than we anticipated. This is enough to give pointers of what is happening – whether there is a Higgs boson, there is no Higgs boson, or there is something completely different, and even more interesting,” he said.

 “Physicists require one in a million odds [of an error in their result] to claim a discovery. Gaining that degree of confidence is likely to need careful analysis well into next year,” added the scientist.

Moreover, one of the reasons caused huge excitement within the scientific community is that two teams, both of which have British experts, will not be comparing their results beforehand to avoid biasing their interpretation of their own data.

This means that even the researchers themselves will not know until the seminar what their findings mean in the context of the results from the other group. [Via The Telegraph]

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