What can you (almost certainly) get for 10,000,000 dollars, 10,000 scientists and a 17 mile atom smasher?
…a new particle…maybe even the “God particle”…nice
Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have discovered a new particle….it could well be the elusive Higgs Boson AKA the God Particle…
- Six theoretical physicists, including the English physicist Peter Higgs, first proposed the Higgs mechanism in 1964
- The existence of the Higgs boson is predicted by the Standard Model AKA the theory of everything and leads to an explanation of why other particles have mass.
- Confirmation of the particle would be one of the greatest scientific achievements of the Century.
- When up and running, the LHC runs 40 million times a second, all day, all year. You could also use it to disturb pigeons
What is the Higgs Boson “God” Particle?
This is obviously quite tricky stuff, but needless to say, it’s important:
[info]Discovery of the particle would be proof of an invisible energy field that fills the vacuum of space. Without it, or something to do its job, there would be no stars, planets or life as we know it.[/info]
…and is described very well in comic form in the presentation below:
For more videos and comics by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson, visit www.phdcomics.com/higgs
This video made with the support of the University of California at Irvine.
The theory of Everything
In case you were wondering what the theory of everything is:
Large Scale: On one side is Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Einstein saw the large-scale universe as a smooth, curved surface in four dimensions (the three dimensions of space plus time). The gravitational force that binds us to the earth arises from the very structure of that space-time continuum.
Small scale: On the other side is quantum theory. Beginning in the 1920s, a generation of scientists defined the small-scale universe as a collection of fuzzy phantoms. These subatomic particles couldn’t be precisely located in space and time, but their interaction could be described in statistical terms.
The theory of everything tries to bind these together, as explained in the video below
Higgs Boson – The Musical
In a bizarre subsequent development – Researchers have turned data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) into sound, in an effort to “hear” the Higgs boson-like particle announced on 4 July.
The project demanded an enormous amount of processing power and utilized large research networks such as GÉANT, which crunches data at speeds up to 40Gbps.