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
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.