By JOHN HEILPRIN and SETH BORENSTEIN
GENEVA (AP) -- Scientists believe the "God particle" that might explain the underpinnings of the universe is real, and they are about to present their evidence to the world.
Physicists at the world's biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have nearly confirmed the primary plank of a theory that could shape the scientific understanding of all matter.
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/ ... 2-09-27-46
- Scientist James Lovelock
- Oversight Committee
- Posts: 4147
- Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:13 pm
- Has thanked: 1 time
- Been thanked: 1 time
Yep, it is an elusive little rascal.MDDad wrote:Boy, that Higgs boson sure is one elusive little rascal . . . kind of like bigfoot. I'm guessing Peter Higgs is probably just as frustrated as Peter Foot at our continued inability to capture the little devil. Since it's somewhat sarcastically referred to as "the God particle", I think it would be a riot if we finally got a visual (of the boson, not bigfoot), and it turned out to be shaped like a Christian cross or the star of David. Or better yet, a middle finger.
Do you know anything about neutrinos? These little guys are manufactured by the Sun and jet out in all directions, they pass right through your brain pan, go through the rest of your body, and continue on right through the Earth, and keep going out the other side of Earth without touching anything. How do they do that? Because they are very, very small.
Consider the atom, that make up everything we think of as hard and real. It has a nucleus made of proton(s), and differently charged electrons whizzing around it. That's our standard idea of an atom, a dense nucleus with bits wizzing around it. We've all seen the graphic (especially if you live near a nuclear reactor, such as San Onofre and Diablo Canyon). That is what hard things you can touch are made of, a bunch of atoms.
Now scale it up. If the nucleus/proton of an atom is the size of a quarter, the electrons wizzing around are a few miles away. That means all the stuff we think of as real, is mostly empty space. That's why a neutrino can zip through it and not touch a thing.
The theoretical Higgs-bosun particle is much, much smaller than even a neutrino. Modern physics has given us subatomic particles associated with nearly all physical properties we observe, such as light and electromagnetism. But we haven't figured out what particle gives things their mass, their gravity. We think the Higg-Bo will fit the bill but we haven't seen it. Hence the Large Hadron Collider (LHC in Cern).
Billions have been spent constructing, maintaining and operating LHC. They report they have seen the shadow of Higg-Bo, the footprint of Higg-Bo, but still haven't seen the particle itself. Strong evidence that support the mathematicians and theorists, but not actual proof. Funding is tough, it costs a lot just to maintain LHC. It may be that's as close as we can get to the "God particle" at LHC for now.
Only time will tell.
I enjoyed your post, cray, thanks. However, this one sentence makes the Higgs boson sound even more like Bigfoot than I thought.crayegg wrote:They report they have seen the shadow of Higg-Bo, the footprint of Higg-Bo, but still haven't seen the particle itself.
""We have now found the missing cornerstone of particle physics," Rolf Heuer, director of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), told scientists."