Physicists at CERN have sent a ping-pong ball around the Large Hadron Collider in order to test for defects. However, this is no ordinary ping-pong ball, it is ultra-clean, smaller than regulation size and fitted with a radio transmitter. This so called radio-frequency ball was used to test that the connections between the magnets are free from any defects.
I found this video by Minute Physics on YouTube the other day. It gives a nice and clear explanation of the Higgs boson. So if you are still confused about what all the fuss was about on Wednesday, I recommend that you watch this short video:
This morning physicists at CERN have finally announced that they have found a new boson with a significance of 5.0 sigma which is required to claim a discovery. Both the CMS and ATLAS detectors agree with the finding of a new boson with a mass of around 125.5 GeV and is consistent with the standard model. However, this is just the beginning, much more data is needed to find out more about its properties.
Due to this new discovery CERN has now decided to delay the LHC’s planned two year shutdown by 3 months. The planned shutdown aims to upgrade the LHC so it can reach 14 TeV.
So the Higgs has finally been found however, there is still no sign of supersymetry, which was tipped to be discovered before the Higgs.
Find out more on CERN’s homepage: http://public.web.cern.ch/public/
Also catch the live press conference here: http://webcast.web.cern.ch/webcast/
Tomorrow morning , in a packed auditorium in CERN, the physicists will be revealing the latest update on the hunt for the Higgs boson, sometimes referred to as the ‘god’ particle. This could be the most anticipated moment in the history of modern science. The Higgs is the last particle of the standard model yet to be found, without it the standard model, the most successful theory in particle physics, falls apart. The idea of the Higgs boson was first introduced around 50 years ago to shore up the holes in the standard model and solve the long-standing mystery of why particles have mass and why some have more than others.
In a seminar held at CERN on the 13 December 2011, the ATLAS and CMS experiments presented the status of their searches for the Standard Model Higgs boson. Their results are based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the elusive Higgs. The main conclusion is that the Standard Model Higgs boson, if it exists, is most likely to have a mass constrained to the range 116-130 GeV by the ATLAS experiment, and 115-127 GeV by CMS. Tantalising hints have been seen by both experiments in this mass region, but these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery.
Since September 23rd, when the OPERA collaboration announced they had discovered neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light, the laws of physics have not collapsed and are still standing strong. The vast majority of physicists, even the ones conducting the experiment, believe that they had made a mistake (http://xkcd.com/955/). Continue Reading