August 23, 2011
Higgs-Boson Particle Possibly Non-Existent
Physicists are hinting that the Higgs-Boson particle, sometimes referred to as the “God particle”, may be nonexistent.
According to the AFP news agency, physicists announced at a European conference that a big atom-smasher experiment had shown tantalizing hints of the Higgs-Boson, as the search to identify the particle enters the final stretch with results expected late next year.
Physicist Howard Gordon, deputy US ATLAS operations program manager told AFP, “At this moment we don´t see any evidence for the Higgs in the lower mass region where it is likely to be.”
ATLAS is the largest particle collider lab at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)´s Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
According to Gordon, “I think it is true that the hints that we saw in July are not as significant – they weren´t very significant in July – but they have gotten less significant now,” he told AFP. Gordon acknowledges, however that physicists are not ready to rule out the possibility that it exists, and experiments must still sift through an immense amount of data at the low-end of the spectrum.
“Basically the data has increased by about a factor of two since the report from the European Physical Society meeting in July because the Large Hadron Collider is producing lots of data,” Gordon told AFP.
“Whatever the final verdict on Higgs, we are now living in very exciting times for all involved in the quest for new physics,” Guido Tonelli told Reuters.
The LHC is a subterranean collider that began operations in March 2010. Engineers and physicists create billions of miniature “Big Bangs” by smashing protons together near the speed-of-light, where they create temperatures 100,000 times hotter than the Sun. The particles released are captured by detectors in laboratories the size of a house. The Higgs-Boson particle is believed to be the one particle that gives objects in the Universe mass and energy.
Besides ATLAS, CERN is running the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment that is searching for evidence of Higgs-Boson, extra dimensions, and the essence of dark matter.
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