EU

The Cern tech that helped track down the God particle

European research lab Cern today announced a landmark discovery for physics. TechRepublic explores the technology used in the hunt for the Higgs Boson particle.

The centuries old question of why the universe has mass may be one step closer to being answered.

Today the European nuclear physics lab Cern announced it has discovered a particle that fits the bill for the elusive Higgs Boson - the theoretical particle thought to be responsible for generating mass.

If it is the Higgs it will be the final missing ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics, the theory which explains all known particles and the forces that act upon them.

The candidate particle was identified by experiments inside the lab's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator - which bangs together sub-atomic particles at close to the speed of light and then analyses the resulting debris. The energy of these collisions is equivalent to that billionths of a second after the Big Bang.

The ATLAS and CMS detectors inside the LHC have observed the new particle at mass ranges of 125 - 126 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) - many times heavier than than the neutron inside the atom and within the mass range predicted for the Higgs Boson.

The lab is cross-checking the results of the experiment before publishing, although apparently the chance of the result being a fluke is no more than one in two million.

The next step for the lab will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe. The discovery could also help shed light on dark matter and dark energy, the unseen substances that are thought to make up 96 per cent of our universe.

Check out TechRepublic stories on the Large Hadron Collider and the computers that Cern used to make this landmark discovery:

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

52 comments
Netweezurd
Netweezurd

He had nothing to do with any of this... /watch?v=r6w2M50_Xdk

Regulus
Regulus

I'm a bit uncomfortable with the moniker 'God Particle'. ......Although, God may be amused. Correct me if I misunderstand this, but my understanding was that the term 'God Particle' is a euphemism of 'God-Dammed Particle'. This term comes to us in much the same manner as 'Big Bang' and 'Black Hole'.

mschuller
mschuller

Don't do this to me when I'm 69. Make me think I'm senile because I can't find why I clicked on the link. Thank you blueskies for helping me understand it wasn't me. Where's the Tech?

pumiceite
pumiceite

Some thoughts to ponder. It is premature, given the recent information developed regarding the existence of the "Higgs boson" to think that our perception of our reality or state of existence may be required to be redefined. What if:? A black hole is a potentially infinite Higgs Boson? What if: A black hole radiates dark energy? What if: A black hole ejects dark matter? What if: As inferred in the data, a Higgs Boson particle may be manipulated with the application of the appropriate energy frequencies? What if: As is inferred, the Higgs Boson is the "Mass Particle" and we can manipulate that particle, does the development of Anti-gravity lie therein? What if: We find that we have opened the door to manipulating the very nature of our universe. What if: We find that our universe once so observed is not what we thought it to be and we are forced to reappraise our most basic concepts?

333239
333239

...but only if you're a particle physicist, and even then it only confirms the standard model.

creative.versatile
creative.versatile

My Comments on CERN Experiment will soon be published via Twitter (ID: creativegb) please.

scratchmb5
scratchmb5

Of course I am duly impressed by the work done by Cern and the advanced technology it has and incorporates into discovering particle physics. The fact is, we are running out of time. Oh, I am not one of these, the world is going to end tomorrow, but we have few choices. One, we find a way to clean up this planet and restore the ozone layer, plant growth, and stabilize the weather. Two, we learn to evolve and adapt to the environment we have created. Three, we get off of this planet. So, how does the discoveries that Cern does help us in any of these ways? I suppose they could bang us up a new universe that should be ready for habitation in a few billion years. I don't care to wait that long.

draack
draack

No amount of watching Big Bang Theory will ever prepare me for keeping up with y'all!

PhilippeV
PhilippeV

It's still very strange that A particle that is so heavy that it outweights the neutron was so hard to observe, at least by its gravitational effects. But now, given that even neytrons are decomposable in the next step of the theory into quarks, we'll soon discover that there are several kinds on Higgs bosons. This is very realist goven that its weight that is so hard to observe was certainly the combination of several effects which, most of the time, are associated in different combinations to produce other physical effects than weight. So we'll see mutating Higgs bosons going through several remcombination steps, where weight appears then disappears in several succesive quanta where its composite quarks can enter in resonance to create "vanishing" or "exploding" effects. We re still missing the observatin of quarks, notably those with very specific effects like the "charm" and "up/down" quarks (some of those quarks which would be responsible of the spacial effects and may be the source of our "observable" 3D space or time). Let's also remamber that the space and time itself would not exist without the mass. Higgs bosons are very fascinating because they transfer part of their weight that vanish into other stable particles that build up space and time. Higgs bosons are fascinating, really the particle of God if they are the source of everything we know : space, time, and mass. What is now interesting to know is the mechanism of recombinations that occur to transfer part of their properties into other particles. So I won't be surprized if we discover then a whole family of Higgs bosons, even if they have a common property : their weight and no electric charge and no magnetic effect. Could there be "charming"/"non-charming" species ? Up/down species ? Are there other internal quata to discover in them than just the quark we've conceived by observing the other particles ? And if a Higgs boson can appear and disappear so rapidly, are there other instable subparticles involved in this process, or is the Higgs boson only the temporary combination effect of a resonance of more subtle compounds ? And how the standard model coexist and pretend to be complete if it is based on the "supersymetru model" and now we also know that there are sudden breaks of antisymetry in the universe ? Aren't we fooled on our experiment by just trying to use our common perception of what is space and time ? May be even space and time does not even exist, it is an illusion (though a very stable one for our eyes). And how an we explain that the gravitational effects are so strong that their effect is observable simultaneously on distinct positions of our observable space ? The research is not over. This just closes and confirms the standard model, but we have still not demonstrated that it is complete by tiself for all phenomenums. Just that it is now coherently closed into itself. Research will continue on the super model that contains the standard model (in which we observe things directly and interact). May be we are still far away from the God creator.

afhavemann
afhavemann

The Standard Model closely predicted the energy range where the Higgs would likely be found, and it seems it???s possible it has. If this pans out and the SM was right, then there might be a revival of some "back-of-the-napkin" scribbles that took place years ago at Princeton. Back then a young physics proff. made an attempt to work out the means by which the Higgs would have to work to provide ???Mass??? to matter. Of course it???s all speculation but he concluded that if the Higgs were found in the predicted energy range then the Standard Model was right then it should be possible to Interfere with the operation of the Higgs using several close resonating EM fields. His hypothesis predicted the possibility of imposing some ???modulation??? on the Higgs field. While increasing the Higgs effect looked impossible due to the energy levels required, imposing some suppression on the field looked possible. Of course none of this is more than wild speculation, but just the same, I wonder where this would go if it panned out and it was possible sone degree of control the Higgs field to some degree?

jimimcdermott
jimimcdermott

What will the call the next particle they discover? Calling it the "God" particle is quite an exhibition of hubris. But that is the media's doing. Bravo to the physicists for achieving yet another incredible milestone!

ayodelesam
ayodelesam

since the (Higgs Boson) particle has been discovered, better way to study it will be to make a new "big-bang" and lets watch the particle evolving to plants, animals, humans ..... is there anyway this can be exported to another planets to start a new life there ? why should billions of dollars continue to be wasted pursuing a faceless theory, while millions of people are dying of hunger and poverty?

Bobarino
Bobarino

I scrolled all the way to the bottom and didn't see any technical equipment mentioned, other than a high-level description of the particle accelerator. What a waste.

mtnman28715
mtnman28715

It's nicknamed the God particle right? So the answer is right there in Genesis 1:1. God created the heavens and the earth.

gscratchtr
gscratchtr

and the supercollider could have been built in the U.S.

jorwen
jorwen

After 100% confirmation, the next step should be to confirm A. Einstein's SUSY theory. Once that step is completed, the ingredients for the time travel will exist. and who know what will transpire from then on.

Nick Heath
Nick Heath

@blueskies Follow the links at the bottom of the piece.

blueskies
blueskies

Excuse me, but isn't the title of this article "The CERN tech that helped track down the God particle? Am I missing something or does the article say nothing about the technology (or technician, if I'm misreading the "tech" slang) that helped track this down? What a waste of electrons this article is. I got more information on NPR than I did from this "Tech"republic article.

karl
karl

Congrats to Science determining that Faith in God does indeed exist. Now onward to the realization that God is eternal and everlasting.

terry.sanderson
terry.sanderson

Stop sensationalizing headlines and articles by calling it the 'God particle'. It is the Higgs boson. Religion has nothing to do with it Enough already!

Nick Heath
Nick Heath

@omb00900 Thanks for the feedback. I've changed the copy so it makes it clear that figure relates to both dark matter and dark energy.

krasnit
krasnit

One thing for certain, the scientists at CERN find the media like yours calling Higgs-Boson the "God particle" an embarrassment to science.......

adrobertson
adrobertson

Great story! Just a minor point, the general view amongst cosmologists is that dark matter comprises 70% of the Universe, not 96% as the article states.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

And not Biggs Hoson... Murphy's Law is strong enough as it is!

bp1argosy
bp1argosy

WHERE'S my slipstream drive!!! I want to be able to journey to the Gamma quadrant, and return before Christmas (while not missing any of my favorite TV programs, or the next NFL season, in the process)! Is that too much to ask? :)

Netweezurd
Netweezurd

My best guest... you can sleep on both ears tonight. Probably won't happen in our life time.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The Learning Continues. Nothing more Nothing less.

Netweezurd
Netweezurd

Normal science procedures. Find something, then try to disprove it. Sometimes it's solid, sometimes it crumbles. Normal scientific procedures. Ya know, the opposite of a doctrine.

Netweezurd
Netweezurd

One : Sub atomic particles are all part of the ozone, plant, air & water... weather. Two : Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. -- Albert Einstein Three : again, to get off of the planet, we'll need a major engine upgrade and those will only come from pure research. Yes we need CERN, it's the God part I'm worried about.

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

in the world, that doesn't mean that this research isn't worthwhile. Great things may come from it that could ease suffering and improve everyone's lives! (Clean cheap energy would improve conditions for the wealthy and poor of the world. That could become possible through research such as this...) The amount of money spent on pure scientific research like this, though great, is a drop in a bucket compared to what is spent on military efforts. If all nations and all peoples stopped waging war with each other, armies would be used for rescues and disaster relief efforts, and we would have enough money left over to end all human suffering, wipe out all the major diseases and start on the more obscure ones, and still have plenty of money left over for pure research like this. So instead of wanting to stop good research, you should want to stop bad wars!

Netweezurd
Netweezurd

if males could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. -- Florynce R. Kennedy

sparent
sparent

SUSY was first proposed in the mid-60s. Given that Einstein died in 1955, it would be hard to attribute supersymmetry to him.

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

Even when I realized the article was about the technology, not The Technician, I was still underwhelmed by the dozen sentences in the article itself. The article makes Cliff Notes look long winded. Who was this article written for? Anyone familiar with the LHC already knew all this, and anyone not familiar with it would probably not have their interest piqued by it.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

The existence of God cannot be proven using the physical laws of our universe.

omb00900
omb00900

Please don't use the American science media's tendency to hype a story using evocative terms as proof of your superstitions. It's a waste of time to debate the existence of the traditional Biblical God. Those that believe in such will likely never change their view, and those that deny the notion of a petty, vindictive, male gendered God need not be convinced of what they already know. Those who have a spirituality tempered by science would do better to discuss the nature rather than the existence of God, for it can be anything you define it to be and therefore exists by definition!

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

Science and God are not mutually exclusive. Science is used to describe the world around us so we can better understand it and leverage it for our benefit. The view of God(s) in the various Bibles and religions of the world isn't so compatible with science. Science will never prove or disprove the existence of God. However, science is constantly indicating that the religions of the world are not consistent with the evidence in the world.

iG34RH34D
iG34RH34D

That title comes from a book by the same name written by a scientist working on it's discovery. He did admit though that the original title was supposed to be 'The Godd4mn Particle' because it was so infuriating to actually find. But he apparently didn't think that title would fly, so it got euphemistically shortend to 'The God Particle'.

omb00900
omb00900

It's dark ENERGY that comprised 70 percent of the universe. The estimate for dark matter is 25 percent of the universe, leaving just around five percent for normal matter that makes up everything we see. So I suppose you could say that dark matter represents over 80 percent of total matter, or that dark matter and dark energy combined is 96 percent of the universe. Any good science writer should know this. It's no less embarrassing than calling the Higgs the "God Particle"! Here's a link from NASA, for those interested in being better informed about science than they might be with Smartplanet as their only source... http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/

RealNonZealot
RealNonZealot

Can a human like both the NFL and DS9 simultaneously? That in itself seems like a spacetime paradox, mutually exclusive properties that exist together, a quantum of entertainment that can't possibly be entangled, and yet they are???.

Chaz Chance#
Chaz Chance#

If you know what gives an atom its mass, then you are on the way to creating atoms without or with less mass. The less mass you have, the less energy required to accelerate, or the faster you will accelerate with the same energy. The gravity well just got shallower.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

just as going to the moon was and the other planets. That old argument of hunger and poverty vs. research is specious. We wouldn't be where we are technologically without it and people like him would be worse off. As long as evil people exist in this world and want to take over another country's territory or convert you to their "religion" through violent means, there will be wars. I don't see that ending anytime soon. We need to maintain our militaries to prevent that or defeat it if unable to prevent it.

Netweezurd
Netweezurd

hard info that does not give us the run around we don't. The few complaints your getting is because of your heading, we were all ready for a techy story right then and there. Reading a page and then having to go somewhere else to get the story, I'll close off the page a go to one of the zillion other things I have to read today. ;-)) Basically, you did good ;-)) we all got ads flashed in our face for not much beef. "Sorrey!" BTW, I would clean up the religious salad, there's other forums for that.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

More importantly, it cannot be disproven either... which is why Science does not concern itself with it. If we want to be philosophical about it, the existence of the world I observe cannot be proven, either, meaning that you all could just be figments of my imagination, or of Descartes' Daemon. You hear? Figments!!!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Big surprise there, I mean, that means fundies are nutcases, another shocker!!! Science also shows that Church Dogma tends to be wrong, I mean, stop the presses, clear the front page already. Almost like Churches have other motives than the propagation of faith and just behavior... like, say, fattening the church wallets. Nothing that common sense cannot say in less words...

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

There will always be power hungry madmen in the world trying to subvert the rest of us to their bidding, no matter what philosophy they wrap themselves in to justify it. (And the USA is just as guilty of it as any other peoples...) But, if we could divert those vast resources to humanitarian efforts, there isn't any obstacle we couldn't overcome.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I was ready for a techy story myself, but had to get it from the links (and the links from the links). As for the religious salad, every time the word God appears in an article headline, somebody will show up to say "Lettuce prey." And I'm just a volunteer mod, so I don't see anything from any ads or anything else. Just keep in mind that without the ads, TR is a pay site.

Editor's Picks