God Particle Finally Found: Brand New Physics Now In The Making?
London, UK - 3rd July 2012, 8:10 GMT
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Scientists working with the world's most powerful atom smasher -- the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) -- outside Geneva at the European organisation for nuclear research (CERN) are expected to announce to the world on Wednesday 4th July 2012 that they have finally found the elusive Higgs boson – dubbed the 'God particle' because it brings mass and defines order in the universe. The results Cern scientists are preparing to announce are exactly like finding the very first fossilised imprint of a dinosaur: One sees the footprints and the shadow of the vast and formidable creature, but one doesn't actually see IT at all!
The world's most expensive particle accelerator -- the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider -- has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to help world-class scientists understand suspected phenomena such as dark matter, antimatter and ultimately the creation of the universe billions of years ago. The discovery of the 'God particle' seeks to answer fundamental questions about the universe and the transformation of energy to mass. As Carl Sagan, the great US astronomer once said, "If you want to make apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe!" Without the Higgs boson there is no matter in the universe and hence no apple pie!
In parallel, physicists working with data from the now shuttered Tevatron particle accelerator outside Chicago at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab (FNAL) confirm that they have also come incredibly close to proving the existence of the elusive subatomic Higgs boson. The Fermilab scientists found hints of the Higgs in the vast data debris from trillions of collisions between beams of protons and anti-protons over a decade. The results are particularly important because they use a completely different and complementary way of searching for the Higgs boson. This gives scientists more confidence that what we are seeing is really evidence of brand new physics in the making rather than just a statistical fluke!
1 in 30,000 Probability
The physicists at Cern will express their finding this Wednesday in what statisticians like to call the "four-sigma confidence interval" which equates to a 1 in 30,000 chance that they have made an error. The threshold of certainty they eventually seek is actually five sigmas, which is about a 1 in 3 million chance of being wrong: the probability reduces exponentially.
Proof for The God Particle
The existence of the Higgs boson was postulated in 1964 to serve a crucial function: conferring mass on some particles that would otherwise have none. Scientists have been searching for the Higgs boson for nearly four decades, when physicists assembled what is now known as the Standard Model. The model is the culmination of a quest for the fundamental constituents of matter and the forces that determine how they interact. Humanities scientific inquiry in this discipline began some 2,400 years ago with the Greek philosopher Democritus's hypothesis that everything is composed of indivisible particles.
Science and Spirituality
As Carl Sagan said in his famous book -- Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space -- “How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?' Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.” Now with the finding of the Higgs boson, let us fasten our seat-belts, this is likely to be one of the most exciting periods in the history of science in general and physics in particular as we return back to the future!
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