Scientists at the Large Hadron
Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland announced today that they have found
the first “tantalizing hints” of the elusive Higgs boson particle in a narrow
region of mass ranges, news celebrated throughout the world’s scientific
A proton-proton collision at the Large Hadron Collider. (Courtesy of: ATLAS Collaboration)
The UT Arlington College of Science’s High Energy
Physics team is part of the U.S. team contributing to the experiments, both
on-site in Switzerland and by analyzing data at the University’s massive data
center. UT Arlington researchers will gather this afternoon in the Chemistry
Physics Building to discuss the work. They are part of the ATLAS experiment,
one of two research groups that revealed Tuesday’s intriguing results.
interaction with the Higgs boson gives particles in the universe their mass. It
is the only particle in the physics Standard Model that has not been observed.
Physicists at the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider have been aggressively seeking
Tuesday’s news means the Higgs
hunters are coming very close to filling in this missing piece, said UT
Arlington Physics Professor Kaushik De, co-director of the High Energy Physics
15 years of contributions to ATLAS by our group here at The University of Texas
at Arlington, it is exciting to be at the threshold of an astonishing
scientific breakthrough," he said.
De said more data, expected from the LHC in 2012,
will show whether these hints are the Higgs or an accidental fluctuation in the
In a news release from CERN, Fabiola Gianotti, ATLAS
experiment spokesperson, agreed.
restricted the most likely mass region for the Higgs boson to 116-130 GeV, and
over the last few weeks we have started to see an intriguing excess of events
in the mass range around 125 GeV. This excess may be due to a fluctuation, but
it could also be something more interesting,” she said, adding: “We can not
conclude anything at this stage. We need more study and more data. Given the
outstanding performance of the LHC this year, we will not need to wait long for
enough data and can look forward to resolving this puzzle in 2012.”
ranges are defined in GeV or gigaelectronvolt, a
unit of energy equal to one billion electron volts.
Though its discovery
will be a watershed event, scientists at UT Arlington and in Switzerland
reiterated Tuesday that locating the Higgs, or ruling it out, starts a host of
new questions and potential experiments.
prospect of confirming the discovery of the Higgs in 2012 is extremely exciting
as it opens the possibility for finding many other new physics phenomena that
have been long predicted,” said Andrew White, UT Arlington physics professor
and co-director of the High Energy Physics Group. “If the Higgs is confirmed in
2012, this will set the stage for the next major High Energy Physics facility –
the International Linear Collider. The LHC and the ILC working together can
reveal the details of mechanisms and symmetries of nature at the most
of the UT Arlington High Energy Physics Group are available for interviews
today. Their seminar about today’s CERN announcements is scheduled for 3 p.m.
in Room 303 of the Chemistry Physics Building, 700 Planetarium Place.
more about Tuesday’s announcement from CERN, visit http://public.web.cern.ch/public/ or http://fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/2011/uslhc_20111213.html.
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