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Brian Cox and me at the Large Hadron Collider. (by thebadastronomer)
Just made this; summing up my current feelings on mainstream science journalism…
Could a Higgs Boson announcement be imminent from the LHC? Or are they just being coy because everyone is paying attention to the FTL neutrinos and they want attention?
Pardon me if I am not clutching my pearls with excitement just yet, since this about the 47th time they have maybe found something that people think maybe might be the Higgs.
Of course, with twisted quotes like this, they could be talking about anything:
“Chances are high (but not strictly 100%) that the talks will either announce a (de facto or de iure) discovery or some far-reaching exclusion that will be really qualitative and unexpected.”
What does that even mean?!?
(via Wired Science)
In late 2008, a few onlookers believed that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) would bring the end of the world. Three years later, our planet remains intact, but the European particle smasher may have made its first crack in modern physics.
If this crack turns out to be real, it might help explain an enduring mystery of the universe: why there’s lots of normal matter, but hardly any of the opposite—antimatter. “If it holds up, it’s exciting,” says particle physicist Robert Roser of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.
To understand why physicists are excited, look around: We’re surrounded by stuff. That might seem obvious, but scientists have long wondered why there’s anything at all. Accepted theories suggest that the big bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter, which would have soon annihilated each other. Clearly, the balance tipped in favor of normal matter, allowing the creation of everything we see today—but how, no one’s sure.
Set phasers to.. Relativistic Heavy Ions!
The Large Hadron Collider will spend four weeks probing the conditions of the early universe in better detail than ever before, as it takes a break from the hunt for the Higgs boson.
The LHC’s main activity for 2011, colliding pairs of protons, came to an end as scheduled on 30 October. The experiment has now produced about 6 inverse femtobarns of collision data, about three times the total used in the last major analysis searching for the Higgs boson, thought to endow other particles with mass, which was reported in August.
As researchers start analysing the new data, the LHC is switching to colliding lead ions for four weeks, starting on the 5th of November. These collisions produce pockets of very dense and hot matter, recreating the conditions in the first moments after the big bang.
Lead ion collisions at the LHC last year showed hints of producing a quark-gluon plasma, an exotic state of matter in which quarks – normally bound in pairs or triplets – are able to wander freely. The phenomenon has been observed previously at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in Brookhaven, New York, but the LHC’s higher-energy collisions allows higher temperatures to be obtained.
“Basically you get closer to the moment of big bang,” says Greg Landsberg of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, physics coordinator for CMS, one of the LHC’s two main detectors.
The elusive search for the Higgs Boson (aka The God Particle) is still on, and now, thanks to a new Android app, when and if it is ever found you can see it happen! Written by the same scientists that are running the ATLAS experiments at CERN, the app, called LHSee, can be downloaded for free on the Andriod market and includes educational activities as well as live collision events.
No word yet on if/when there will be an iOS app.
Preliminary findings from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider may have uncovered experimental evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model. Data from the CMS experiment is showing significant excesses of particles known as leptons being created in triplets, a result that could be interpreted as evidence for a theory called supersymmetry.
The findings, presented during a talk Oct. 19 at a conference dedicated to LHC searches for new physics, have piqued the interest of some members of the field.
“This is clearly something to watch closely over the coming months,” physicist Matt Strassler wrote on his blog. That’s because these particular triple lepton signatures are sometimes called the “golden channel” to revealing supersymmetry, a theoretical model that posits the existence of a heavier partner to all known subatomic particles in order to solve certain problems with the Standard Model.
(Source: , via astrotastic)