Jul 04, 2012
Excitement in physics world as 'particle consistent with Higgs boson' is foundBack
CERN|Large Hadron Collider|Nuclear|University Of California Santa Barbara|Energy|Nuclear|Fabiola Gianotti|Joe Incandela|Rolf Heuer
© Reuse this
The experimental results have a significance level of five-sigma, meaning they are regarded as discoveries. (A one-sigma result could simply be a random fluctuation in the data while a three-sigma result counts as an observation.)
The Higgs boson was postulated as a means of providing mass to other subatomic particles, but until now it has not been detected experimentally. It cannot be detected directly, but must be identified indirectly, from detecting the predicted combinations of different particles it decays into.
CERN operates the giant Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator located about 100 m underground on the Franco-Swiss border. Scientists from two of the LHC experiments, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and Atlas, made presentations at a seminar at CERN which was webcast live.
The first presentation was made by CMS scientist and spokesperson Joe Incandela, professor of physics at the University of California Santa Barbara, who stressed that the CMS collaboration involved 3 300 scientists around the world.
“We have observed a new boson at 125.3±0.6 GeV,” he announced. (GeV means giga-electron volt; although this is a measure of energy, because of Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2, where E stands for energy, m for mass and c for the speed of light in a vacuum, GeVs are used to express the mass of elementary particles.)
The second presentation was by Dr Fabiola Gianotti, senior research physicist at CERN and spokesperson for the Atlas experiment. She highlighted that the data from Atlas was processed at 80 sites around the world, often by young researchers.
The Atlas results established, with a confidence level of 95%, that the Higgs could not be in the mass ranges of 110 GeV to 122.6 GeV and 129.7 GeV to 558 GeV. “The best-fit [Higgs] signal strengths, normalised to the Standard Model expectations, for all studied [decay] channels [was] at mass equalling 126.5 GeV,” she stated.
“It was a global effort, it is a global effort, it is a global success,” enthused CERN director general Professor Rolf Heuer.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Science and Technology News
Recent Research Reports
This Week's Magazine
While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
LSM Distributors has contracted engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa to undertake the R100-million restoration of the 54-year-old Kyalami racetrack, situated in Midrand. The restoration will assist in re-establishing it as a venue for...
South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has expressed the hope that the defence budget will be significantly increased over the next five years. She did so while addressing the media in her recent budget vote media briefing. The 2015/2016 defence...
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released...
Investment in South African youth through apprenticeships and learnerships will not only create direct benefits for businesses but will also contribute significantly to job creation and socioeconomic transformation in the country.