Higgs search at CERN (and other science stuff)
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Author:  Boumsong [ 2012-07-04 Wed 12:29:13 ]
Post subject:  Higgs search at CERN (and other science stuff)

:ogog: :ogog: :ogog:

Hey all, time for a little science! As you may know, the search for the Higgs boson ("God particle") has been going on for a long time now. Recently the media started getting into it when the LHC turned on and didn't destroy the world.

Today ATLAS and CMS report that they have discovered a new particle that is consistent with the Higgs boson. However, only lots more work will tell us for sure if it really is the Higgs. Anyway, its one of the biggest days in the history of particle physics and CERN, so I thought I'd make a post.

NOTE: This has nothing to do with my experiment or indeed my job, but its cool anyway ;) I do, however, know a fair bit about it so feel free to comment, no matter how stupid it is. Besides by the time we reach page 2 the topic will probably be Hitler.


Author:  Bramble [ 2012-07-04 Wed 12:47:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Yeah, the thing that we know for certain is that a new boson particle has been discovered with a mass of about 125GeV (that's about 130 times heavier than a proton for means of comparison).

That's a very exciting prospect regardless of whether it turns out to have the exact properties of the Higgs or not. In some regards, if it isn't the Higgs then it is even more exciting.

A great day to see the culmination of over 40 years of hard work. At least we are now one step closer to fully understanding the rather crazy universe we inhabit!


NOTE: Nothing to do with my experiment either, but interesting all the same!

Author:  Zell [ 2012-07-04 Wed 15:06:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Awesome!! If they indeed confirm this discovery to be the Higgs boson, what will be next for CERN and the LHC?

Author:  Boumsong [ 2012-07-04 Wed 15:15:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Well lets assume that they can confirm it is the Higgs using the full data set available by the end of this year (it should be doubled from the results now). That is a big if though!

Then they would just need even more statistics to measure how strongly the Higgs interacts with different particles "coupling strength" is the buzzword.

Also, they will still be looking for other new particles in crazy theories outside of our Standard Model.

The near future:
Run until December 2012
Shut down for 2 years to prepare to double the beam energy
Run from 2015 to collect much more data.

Author:  Tunga [ 2012-07-04 Wed 15:24:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN


Author:  Zell [ 2012-07-04 Wed 15:27:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Btw, what do your experiments search for? (if something at all)

Author:  Boumsong [ 2012-07-04 Wed 15:35:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

My experiment focuses on something call "CP violation".

If you look at the night sky, everything you see is made out of matter. Now, we know that matter and anti-matter are always created in equal parts. So then, why when we look at the night sky is there no anti-matter? You'll have to take my word for it - astronomers have looked for it!

CP violation basically describes a way in which matter and anti-matter are different.

Therefore, the idea is to watch a particle decay and then see if the anti-particle decays in an identical way. It turns out that it is not always the case - but we must find much much more to explain why there is no anti-matter in the universe.

That is my job in a nut shell - answering the question "Why are we here"?

Author:  Zell [ 2012-07-04 Wed 16:07:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

lol. "CP Violation" sounds like something out of 4chan.

Isn't antimatter composed of antiparticles? So if you can observe antiparticles, howcome antimatter is not to be found in the night sky?
My knowledge is very limited, so this is a wild theory, but couldn't the sun burning be a reaction between matter and anti matter? I mean, how does a ball of Hydrogen burn for millions of years?

Your job is simple then. The answer is 42.

Author:  Boumsong [ 2012-07-04 Wed 16:30:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Lol, its not that wild - more intelligent people than me come up with some crazy stuff.

We can make anti-matter (anti-particles) in the lab, that is true. However, we always make the matter version of it too.

Anti-matter is very easy to detect because when it finds normal matter they go bang and turn into light (photons). For a given particle, say proton hitting anti-proton the photons that they become always have the same energy. That is how we know the sun doesn't work like that. In fact, we know it is nuclear fusion because we can detect the particles released by process on earth (but this is more Bram's topic now).

I wish it was that simple somethings!

Author:  Zell [ 2012-07-04 Wed 16:44:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Woo this is a fun topic :D

Do you have any videos of you making anti matter? How do you make it? etc etc. It blows my mind to think you can create it in a lab :D

And yeah, mind explaining the process of nuclear fusion in the sun Bram?

Author:  Bramble [ 2012-07-04 Wed 17:09:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Lol, not exactly my topic...

I work on a neutrino oscilltion experiment (one in the US now, not Japan anymore). There are 3 neutrinos, and they are like neutral "partners" to the charged leptons, the lightest of which you should know; the electron.

Anyway, the neutrinos are strange because they can change between the 3 types as they travel. So you can make a beam of one type (muon) neutrinos, and when you measure them at the detector you see some other types (electron and tau neutrinos).

We're really just trying to measure the probability that each neutrino has to turn into one of the other 2. Once we've measured those parameters accurately, neutrino physics also moves to try to measure CP violation (in this case the oscillation probability is different for neutrinos and antineutrinos).

As for the sun, well, what I know about the sun is that it produces absolutely shed loads of neutrinos in the fusion process, and that was the first piece of evidence of oscillations when the number of neutrinos we measured on earth wasn't how many the sun "should" have been making.

There's way to much to say here. I'll upload the theory chapter of my thesis when I've had my viva, I talk about Neutrino Oscillations nicely in there :P

Author:  JumperJack [ 2012-07-04 Wed 17:12:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

whoa awesome! ye indeed a fun topic - through the wormhole with morgan freeman, but now interactive. xD

but that is indeed great news, i'm very curious whether that's the higgs boson, or what else it might be. myself, i found the higgs-theory hard to understand, to imagine, but then again it's the same for most other theories from the past forty years. ;)

please keep us up to date, and good luck with your experiments! :D

Author:  Zooz [ 2012-07-04 Wed 17:51:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Cool. I heard about the leaked video last night, nice that it is true!

Author:  Boumsong [ 2012-07-04 Wed 18:00:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Zell - I don't know - I think the biggest anti-matter thing every made is a anti-hydrogen atom. Thats pretty cool though - an anti-proton with a positron bound to it! That was recently done so its a big field of research I'm sure. As for how - the LHC makes tons of it. The hard part is to build something (not the LHC) to capture it (not as easy as Angels and Demons!) so that you can study it. I don't know any details of that I'm afraid.

Particle physics is awesome though!

I have a paper due out soon (I have a meeting tomorrow to go through it line by line tomorrow), I'll post a link when it is ready ;)

Author:  Zell [ 2012-07-04 Wed 18:13:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

Looking forward to both your uploads! :punch: :thumbur:

Btw, I just downloaded the episode "What is nothing?" of Through the Wormhole. Gonna watch it before going to sleep. :P


Author:  JumperJack [ 2012-07-04 Wed 21:25:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

hehe that episode was on today here on disc science. ;)

tonight there was a special documentary on public dutch broadcast, but i missed the first half due to a bloody nose. gonna watch it tomorrow on the repetition.

Author:  loozerr [ 2012-07-05 Thu 13:10:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN


Author:  Bramble [ 2012-07-05 Thu 13:15:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

I thought he was being a little bit harsh on the US with that comment.

First off, the Tevatron which shut down a few months ago was an amazing machine. It was the highest energy proton - antiproton collider ever built, and they may well never build a better one. The Tevatron was the first machine to use superconducting magnets, so every MRI scanner in the world has the Tevatron to thank for the technology that it pioneered.

There's still a pretty decent neutrino physics community in the USA, with some nice experiments running and being built. I guess there's not a good plan for "the next big experiment" though, maybe that's what he's complaining about.

Still, maybe things in Astrophysics are bad, and that's what his specialist area is.

Author:  loozerr [ 2012-07-05 Thu 13:23:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

I wish you stopped talking sense when I want to bash America with a silly picture. :DD

Author:  Bramble [ 2012-07-05 Thu 13:32:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Higgs search at CERN

This is the only serious thread we have! :'(

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