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UT Arlington physicists celebrate announcement of new particle

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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Media Contact: Traci Peterson, Office:817-272-9208, Cell:817-521-5494, tpeterso@uta.edu

Physicists searching for the elusive Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland announced today that they have found a new particle, setting the stage for exploration of whether it is the Higgs predicted by the physics Standard Model.

The UT Arlington College of Science’s Center of Excellence for High Energy Physics is part of the U.S. team contributing to the experiments, both on-site in Switzerland and by utilizing UT Arlington’s massive computing center. Members of the ATLAS group at UT Arlington, which is part of the Large Hadron Collider project, are available for interview by phone and in person today to explain this morning’s announcement.

To set up an interview, please call Traci Peterson, UT Arlington media relations officer, at 817-521-5494 or send an email to tpeterso@uta.edu.

“I would classify this as one of the biggest discoveries in physics during the past 30 years,” said Kaushik De, UT Arlington professor of physics and director of the Center of Excellence. “Without the Higgs, how particles get mass was an unsolved mystery in science.”

Sometimes called the "God particle," physicists believe interaction with the Higgs boson gives particles in the universe their mass. It is the only particle in the physics Standard Model that had not been observed. The Standard Model describes the basic forces and interactions between particles. Physicists at the Tevatron particle accelerator in Illinois and the multi-billion Large Hadron Collider in Europe have been aggressively seeking the Higgs.

A full press release about the announcement this morning by CERN is available here: http://fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/index.html.

“Today’s announcement is far from the end of the trail. It’s really only telling us we’re just getting started on the right trail,” said Christopher Jackson, an assistant professor of physics. “One of our first questions is, ‘Is this really the Standard Model Higgs?’ This will take some time and even more observations to answer.”

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