PHOTOGRAPH BY REX FEATURES VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published June 23, 2014
The world's biggest and most powerful particle accelerator, credited with discovering the so-called God particle in 2012, is getting rebooted for what scientists say could be a big second act.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will double its power by running on the highest energy level ever reached by a particle accelerator, scientists announced Monday.
The Large Hadron Collider is best known for detecting the Higgs boson in 2012. Nicknamed the God particle, the subatomic Higgs helps explain why much of the mass in the universe exists. The discovery garnered a 2013 Nobel prize for the theorists who first predicted the existence of the Higgs in the 1960s. (See Large Hadron Collider pictures.)
Housed in an oval-shaped, 17-mile-long (27 kilometer) tunnel beneath the French-Swiss border, a beefed-up Large Hadron Collider could discover even more new particles.
Finding the Higgs was only a "starting point," said Fabiola Gianotti, a particle physicist and former spokesperson for the ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) Experiment, which found the Higgs boson, on Monday.
"At the moment we don't know [the Higgs] as well as the other elementary particles—with a new friend, you want to know him or her better," she said.
The Large Hadron Collider uses powerful magnets to smash beams of protons together at nearly the speed of light. (Learn more about atom smashers.)
Last week, one-eighth of the giant collider was cooled to its operating temperature of -271.3 degrees Celsius—a temperature colder than outer space—while some accelerators that supply the collider beams were started up for the first time since 2012, when the instrument was shut down for maintenance and upgrades.
The plan is for the new and improved atom smasher to begin conducting experiments again in January 2015, said Rolf-Dieter Heuer, director general at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which operates the collider.
"There's a huge amount of physics to be done," said Heuer, speaking Monday at a press briefing at the Euroscience Open Forum in Copenhagen.
"Without This Particle, You Cannot Exist"
The Higgs boson, proposed five decades ago by British physicist Peter Higgs, explains why some particles, such as quarks—which are the building blocks of protons, among other things—and electrons have mass, while others, such as light-carrying photon particles, do not. (Read about the God particle in National Geographic magazine.)
According to Higgs, the universe is bathed in an invisible field similar to a magnetic field, called the Higgs field.
If a particle can move through this field with little or no interaction, there will be no drag, and that particle will have little or no mass. Alternatively, if a particle interacts significantly with the Higgs field, it will have a higher mass.
That's why the Higgs boson is responsible for the much of the mass of matter in the universe.
"Without this particle, you cannot exist," said Heuer.
Gianotti, who works with CERN, noted that until last July, "we had discovered 16 elementary particles. The Higgs boson is number 17—it is completely different than all of the others."
For instance, the Higgs doesn't fit into what was previously two types of particles—matter and force carriers—but instead belongs to a third category, called the scalar, making it the only one of its kind known in the universe.
Does Higgs Have "Brothers" Out There?
During its first three-year run, from 2010 through 2012, the collider ran at 7 to 8 tera electron volts (TeV), a unit of energy used in particle physics.
In 2015, scientists hope to run the collider at 13 TeV. Since higher-energy beams can reveal particles with heavy mass, the Hadron collider may unveil heavier particles previously unknown to mankind. (The Higgs is relatively light, which is another mystery to physicists.)
For instance, a theory called supersymmetry suggests that the Higgs coexists with four other sibling particles that have similar masses but different electrical charges.
"If we increase our [energetic] reach, we may see the brothers of the Higgs," said Samira Hassani, a particle physicist at France's Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (CEA) who works with CERN. (Related: "'God Particle' May Be Five Distinct Particles, New Evidence Shows.")
Dark Matter Dream
Scientists are also hoping to find out how Higgs interacts with other particles, a subject of ongoing research.
On Monday, CERN released a study showing that the Higgs boson decays into fermions, or the particles that make up matter.
This finding, published in the journal Nature Physics, supports the idea that the Higgs boson behaves in a way that's consistent with the standard model of physics—the so-far successful theory that explains how fundamental particles interact with the elementary forces of nature.
But with the Hadron operating at such intensity, Gianotti said, there is the tantalizing possibility the Higgs is "a door to new physics," or other theories about how our universe works that we just don't know yet.
Take dark matter, that theoretical, invisible substance that makes up 95 percent of our universe. We know what makes up 5 percent of the universe, which is represented by structures we can see, like the galaxies and planets and stars.
"All of our studies are based on what we call the standard model," said Hassani, but "dark matter is still an unanswered question. There must be a new thing—new physics—we need to understand." (See "Dark Matter Hits the Average Human Once a Minute?")
Added Gianotti: "Our dream is that when we switch on the [Large Hadron Collider] in 2015 at higher energy, we could be able to produce a particle that could explain dark matter.
"This would be a great triumph for science," she said.
THAT THING IS GOING TO START A CHAIN REACTION THAT WILL EVAPORATE THE WHOLE PLANET . I saw it in a science-fiction movie, which movie was that???
النظرية الأولى: نظرية الأزلية:
من الذي روج لنظرية الكون الأزلي؟
وضع أساس هذه النظرية ثلاثة من كبار علماء الفلك يعملون في جامعة كامبردج بلندن، وهم: (فريد هويل، وهيرمان بوندي، وتوم غولد)(24).
إن هذه النظرية تتلاءم مع فكرة " سرمدية الوجود " وتتطابق مع الأفكار الأوربية المقتبسة من الفلسفة المادية، وهذه الفلسفة نمت وتقدمت أصلاً في العالم الإغريقي القديم،وتضمنت أن المادة كانت الشيء الوحيد الموجود في الكون، وأن الكون وجد في الزمن اللانهائي، وسوف يبقى إلى الأبد.
هذه الفلسفة عاشت في أشكال مختلفة خلال الأزمنة الرومانية، لكن في فترة الإمبراطورية الرومانية القريبة والعصور الوسطى صارت المادية تنحدر نتيجة تأثير الكنيسة الكاثوليكية والفلسفة المسيحية، ثم بدأت تجد قبولاً واسعاً بين علماء أوروبا ومثقفيها، وكان سبب ذلك الاتساع هو الحب الشديد للفلسفة الإغريقية القديمة.
وفي عصر النهضة الأوربية تزعم بعض الفلاسفة بنشر مزاعم المادية ودافعوا عنها، وأعلنوا أن الكون سرمدي وموجود في كل الأزمان
ومع بداية القرن التاسع عشر صارت فكرة أزلية الكون وعدم وجود لحظة لبدايته مقبولة بشكل واسع، وتم نقل تلك الفكرة إلى القرن العشرين من خلال أعمال الماديين الجدليين من أمثال (كارل ماركس) و(فريدريك أنجلز)(25).
تتلاءم هذه الفكرة عن الكون اللامتناهي تماماً مع الإلحاد، وليس من الصعب معرفة السبب لأن فكرة أن للكون بداية تقتضي أنه مخلوق، وطبعاً هذا يتطلب الإقرار بوجود خالق وهو الله، لذلك كان من المريح جداً وأكثر سلامة بأن يدار العرض بطريقة خادعة فتوضع أولاً فكرة أن " الكون موجود سرمدي " حتى ولو لم يكن هناك قاعدة علمية ولو كانت ضعيفة لتأكيد تلك الفكرة(26).
so what happened to the rest of the miles up to 27km? Did they got eaten by the black hole that exists there now? :p
I know there's lots of in depth discussion here about particle physics and other sciencey stuff, but did anyone else notice that seven miles is 11.27 Km and not 27 as stated? I just thought someone might want to correct that?!?
Sooner or later Scientists will prove that all religions were created by superstitious beliefs. Thousands of years ago before man was unable to understand various changes in the universe, everything that was not considered normal people explain all phenomena as being an act of ( God) .
That money could be far better spent saving lives than particle second-guessing.
Science, get your priorities in perspective.
Take all that money it took to build. And spread it out evenly around the World. And we all would be sitting pretty good. If I found God I would put him back. You can not debate about some thing Scientific with some one who does not see. Like say the fossil record. Or the new discoveries of life as it evolves. The way I see it we are destroying this Earth, the Ocean and we want to take it on the road into outer space because it is getting crowded. Or we killed Earth. Right at this moment some fanatical Religious zealots want to enforce Sharia Law on Iraq. Well Karma seems to come around. You cried Death to U S. Now your Freedom is gone unless you fight for it. Hypothetically if I walked into say any type of bar. And stated that I was imposing A stupid law taking away all your rights.and you have to cover up from head to toe. Chances are off the charts high. That I would end up in a dumpster wearing a burka. While the Band played on. Not missing a beat. I want to shout out .... Thank you Veterans for my Freedom.
Why does the media have to refer to the Higgs Particle as the "so-called God particle" EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
You embarrass yourself.
God's atom holds everything together, means, God will open the gate of dark matter to let his SON TO ENTER INTO THE EARTH, and that's the JUDGEMENT DAY.
Does anyone else think it absurd to call a photon "massless" when it experiences gravitation (as demonstrated by gravitational lensing). Light only travels at the "speed of light" in an absolute vacuum. When a photon passes through any other medium it is unable to achieve a velocity of C. For that matter, as light can only travel at lightspeed in one condition, perhaps it shouldn't be called lightspeed? After all, I don't call my car's top speed "knackered Citroen speed"!
I don't expect people to start renaming things just because they don't make sense, it just irks me that we choose poor names and descriptions to start with. "God" particle? Meh!
I wish there was a giant AI female robot voice that would call out the steps prior to firing the collider.
Scientist have proven that everything that exists is already made out of God's atoms. If man can split the atom then it's only logical they will split the galaxy they live in. Where's the responsibility??
Scientist have proven that everything that exists is made out of God's atoms. If man can split the atom then it's only logical they will split the galaxy they live in. Where's the responsibility??
I would also like to add, They have no idea what they are doing....start colliding anything into this old earth and you may just throw things out of balance....Then what?...some brilliant mind will figure out how to fix that screw up?.........Ha!
Would be nice to discover the graviton next year. Once we find this particle we have a real chance of FTL travel and floating cars.
Religion has nothing to do with science other than the science about religions.Science is about reporting what you find, without caring about if the answer really was the one you wanted to find. In that aspect, if we find that the universe is eternal or not, does not matter. Things are the way they are and nothing else. Science tries to prune away everything that is unnecessary for answering a question, so in the scientific aspect, there is really no need for any kind of god, because every try to introduce a god like creator immediately results in the scientific question; "why introduce an answer (a god) that is more complex than what it then explains?".Note, that this scientific pruning also makes science somewhat limited. Try to answer why blue looks like it does and not like red and vice versa, and science has no answer. It can only explain the chemical mechanisms resulting in your behavior when seeing these colors From scientific point of view, the looks of the colors has no explanatory value.
I see no connection between science and a god. Science has nothing to say about a god. And, vice versa, I were religious I would think that trying to find a scientific aspect of my god, would be to diminish that god
@Stephen Hodge Your quite right, though the 27 km figure is correct and the 7 miles is wrong rather than the other way round. It should be corrected to 17 miles.
@Anthony Milano If there is GOD then good for me coz i believe in HIM...... and woe to those who don't believe in HIM coz there is HELL and they will be there sooner..... and if there is no GOD then my belief is wrong but at least there is no HELL... :)
@Anthony Milano Or, these marvelous discoveries point toward an infinite being who created these marvels that we are just discovering. God is infinite - no other way to explain the marvels of the Universe that we enjoy.
@Michael Wheater Jesus said we will always have the poor... The pursuit of the understanding of our Universe is of utmost importance in understanding. This is a priority of being human. Now, if you talk to the despots and corrupt politicians about their priorities to the people they are robbing blind...
@Rene Nortje Thats the length of the oval, not the length of the tunnel. The tunnel itself is 27 km long. I am sure you consider yourself smart.
@Rodolfo Alonzo As nice as a sentiment it would be to take all that money and spread it, lets look at what would actually happen. Let's assume the LHC cost $100B and let's just for the sake of ease round up the number of people on Earth to 10B from 9B. Evenly distributed, that amounts to about $10 per person. That's hardly sitting pretty good. Sure a decent number of people in third world countries might be doing alright for a month or two, but it'd be nothing more than a nice little bonus for the poorest and chump change for anyone in the developed world. You need to look at politicians, CEOs, and other major currency holders that own Trillions, Quadrillions even of wealth before we get anywhere with an even income distribution.
@Sachi Mohanty You have to read the book by Leon Lederman. It's called the God Particle and it's the story of this elusive marvel that pervades the Universe.
@Daniel Morados LMAO, OMG you couldn't be more ignorant. Take a couple of courses in Physics and maybe you will begin to understand how science actually works. Did you know the Vikings when they couldn't explain how a solar eclipse worked or even lightning, these were foreseen as deities and gods... the greeks knew better and understood math and science and cosmology. It is a historical fact that every single thing we have been unable to explain something it had to have a superstitious or religious meaning. You can keep your judgment day, for it will NEVER happen. Organized religion is to keep you ignorant, it seems to be doing a great job on you.
@Stephen Blake A couple of things:
Light *does* always travel at the speed of light. But traveling through anything other than a vacuum it’s also bouncing off of stuff along the way.
When passing through a liquid, for example, the light particle is still traveling at the same velocity, however, it’s also bouncing between the particles that make up the water — it hits an atom, and starts moving in another direction, still at the speed of light. So while it takes longer for the light to travel through the water, it’s not slowed down — it’s just taken a longer journey.
It’s the same reason that light from the center of the Sun takes millions of years to reach the surface — it’s bouncing off a lot of particles before it makes it out.
@Stephen Blake See Sachi above. Light is bent in a gravitational field created by a massive object. The massive object curves space - light has not choice but to follow the curve of space that is shaped by the mass (Einstein).
@Stephen Blake Agreed. Particle physics is starting to sound a lot like theoretical physics, you know, that subject that is called a 'science'. It is my conviction that Astrologers stand more chances of being correct than theoretical physicists. But let me not stray too much from the topic at hand.
Thanks to Georg Cantor, the name of 'God' is invoked every time academics don't have a clue whereof they speak. The first example was Cantor's transfinites.
@Rodger Berg That makes no sense whatsoever. I doubt science or math were your strengths in school.
@mark rad It really is amazing. Don't you mean "too big"?
@mark rad Yeah, all the PHD scientists don't know what they are doing and are "simply colliding anything" Wow. You definitely grasp the essence of this study!!
@mark rad That is not even remotely possible. FYI a "supernova" is a natural event and happens in the universe pretty often.
@mark rad YEAH, why dont the authors of the above article talk about the possible side-effects of this prescription on our Earth.
@Augs Cruz III Ask yourself why god lets people starv and die in horrible conditions! You religious manipulated maniac...
@Thomas McCarthy @Anthony Milano Hello Anthony and Thomas, Please allow me to ask you if these marvels we are discovering required a God to create them and if god is more marvelous than any of these discoveries, who or what then created God? I think logically that we can just skip the middle man here don't you?
@Thomas McCarthy @Anthony Milano yes, these findings didn't denied God but actually a big evidence of proving God. this is too little there are enormous things in the universe and whole universe belongs to God Almighty. see yourself u r a big evidence of God creation. How can u be automated.
@New Calculus Well at least is it not those "social sciences" nonsense ;P
Seriously though, I am not against theorists. Hell, without them there would be little for Applied Physicists to test and confirm.
I am a software engineer professionally, and as such I know how important it is to name things well. There are all sorts of personalities involved in science, and sadly some of them are prone to over-generalising and whimsical naming. The "Charm" quark comes to mind with the mental image of a dapper particle turning up with wine and roses.
While I do not believe in a deity, I do not believe in the absence of a deity either... but I have my suspicions. Either way, we have no proof and so Religion (including Atheism) is unscientific. Therefore, calling something a "God" particle is a bit like having the "Tooth Fairy Lepton" or the "Incredible Hulk Force".
Anyway, I sound like I am trying to convince the person who just agreed with me, when I am just in the mood to ramble and grumble!
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