Image of the Day: Runaway Black Hole at Plane of the Milky Way
Image of the Day: "Fresh Tracks of Human Technology on Mars"

"Higgs Boson Will Unlock Great Mysteries of the Universe" --Era of New Physics Looming (Weekend Feature)



Physicists said Thursday the potential discovery of the "God particle" was a gateway to a new era that could see humanity unlock some of the universe's great mysteries including dark matter.

The discovery of the  long-sought Higgs boson, an elusive particle thought to help explain why matter has mass, was hailed as a huge moment for science by physicists gathered in Australia this past week, where CERN's findings were unveiled via videolink from Geneva at a landmark conference attended by hundreds of the field's top experts.

Scientists hailed the announcement, speculating that it could one day make light speed travel possible by "un-massing" objects or allow huge items to be launched into space by "switching off" the Higgs.* CERN scientist Albert de Roeck likened it to the discovery of electricity, when he said humanity could never have imagined its future applications.

"What's really important for the Higgs is that it explains how the world could be the way that it is in the first millionth of a second in the Big Bang," de Roeck told AFP.* "Can we apply it to something? At this moment my imagination is too small to do that."

Physicist Ray Volkas said "almost everybody" was hoping that, rather than fitting the so-calledStandard Model of physics -- a theory explaining how particles fit together in the Universe -- the Higgs boson would prove to be "something a bit different".

"If that was the case that would point to all sorts of new physics, physics that might have something to do with dark matter," he said, referring to the hypothetical invisible matter thought to make up much of the universe.

British physicist Peter Higgs smiles at a press conference on July 4, at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) offices in Meyrin near Geneva. After a quest spanning nearly half a century, physicists said on July 4 they had found a new sub-atomic particle consistent with the Higgs boson which is believed to confer mass.

"It could be, for example, that the Higgs particle acts as a bridge between ordinary matter, which makes up atoms, and dark matter, which we know is a very important component of the universe."

"That would have really fantastic implications for understanding all of the matter in the universe, not just ordinary atoms," he added.* De Roeck said scrutinising the new particle and determining whether it supported something other than the Standard Model would be the next step for CERN scientists.

Clarification could be expected by the beginning of 2013; definitive proof that it fitted the Standard Model could take until 2015 when the LHC had more power and could harvest more data.

The LHC is due to go offline for a two-year refit in December that will see its firepower doubled to 14 trillion electronvolts -- a huge step forward in the search for new particles and clues about what holds them all together. De Roeck said he would find it a "little boring at the end if it turns out that this is just the Standard Model Higgs".

Instead, he was hoping it would be a "gateway or a portal to new physics, to new theories which are actually running nature" such as supersymmetry, which hypothesises that there are five different Higgs particles governing mass.

The hunt for Higgs -- the logical next step of which de Roeck said would be searching for, and eventually being able to produce, dark matter particles -- has already had huge benefits to medicine and technology.

Volkas said the Internet was born at CERN as a solution to high-volume data-sharing and other major spin-offs were likely to follow as physicists continued to "push the boundaries of pure science".

The Daily Galaxy via 2012 AFP 



Hmm, everything is connected somehow, we just cant see it. I doubt that at flash of light in the large hadron colider will give sustainable evidence for/against the standard model(; which in any objective mind is falsified)

I'll be interested to see what develops from this. True antigravity? Artificial gravity? Space-warping and the Alcubierre drive? New methods for computer processors? A person's imagination can run wild with this.

I want to hear more about that so-called "treacly field" that the Higgs Boson particle manifests itself in. How about an article on that?

Wouldn't 'Higgs Boson Field' be a more appropriate name than referring to it as a particle? It is fascinating how this invisible field that has little or no mass magically gives mass to all matter. This is like a man that has no money, yet is handing money to everyone on the street. It is not (supposed to be) possible. Many insist time travel is not possible because of paradoxes even though we have already proven forward time travel occurs at high speeds and around gravitational fields. Backwards time travel may be possible through naturally occurring phenomenons at the quantum level. Oh, and my personal favorite, the voodoo particle's stunning capability to bond, separate, and then communicate in real time whether the distance is 100 miles or 10 billion light years. Perhaps what humans see as a paradox is simply the human mind hitting that wall of limitation. Are we entering an era of mainstream physics that is so bizarre that the next big discovery will not be physics, but that the human brain is simply not powerful enough to truly understand the laws of all physics, large and small. We will never know it all, but it sure is fun trying.

>>Volkas said the Internet was born at CERN as a solution to high-volume data-sharing

The Internet was born in the United States back in the 1970s. The World Wide Web was born at Cern.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)