Image of the Day: Searching for Higgs Boson --CERN's ATLAS "Camera" Snaps 40 Million Pictures Per Second
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November 21, 2012

Image of the Day: Searching for Higgs Boson --CERN's ATLAS "Camera" Snaps 40 Million Pictures Per Second

 

 

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Using data from experiments performed in 2010 at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland, scientists are studying rare particle decays that could explain why the universe has more matter than antimatter. Thousands of computers filter those remaining images, looking for traces of the Higgs boson, which decays quickly.

"It only lasts for less than a billionth of a billionth of a second, so we never see the Higgs itself. We only see the things it decays into, and we only have this sort of indirect evidence at first. We have to go through and try to work out what happened," explains physicists Michael Tuts at Columbia University and Kyle Cranmer at New York University. "People have likened it to taking two Swiss clocks and smashing them together, and looking at the gears flying out, trying to figure out what was going on inside!"

The particle detectors used to identify the Higgs boson are the size of a six-story building, full of hundreds of millions of electronic instruments. The ATLAS detector works like a huge digital camera. It records hundreds of billions of protons colliding at nearly the speed of light. This "camera" takes 40 million pictures per second.

The search for a mysterious subatomic particle can certainly involve some enormous tools, not to mention a multitude of scientists. The effort to find the elusive "Higgs boson" includes over 5,800 scientists from 56 countries! It's a subatomic particle that gives other particles, such as quarks and electrons, their mass.

Why the intense search for the Higgs? Over the past few decades, scientists have been trying to understand all the different building blocks of nature. They came up with a theory called "the Standard Model."

"We've been checking it in all sorts of experiments all across the world for decades, and it's just the theory that refuses to fail. It has passed every test that we've thrown at it," says Cranmer. "But one of the real mysteries was that there was one more particle in this theory that we hadn't seen, which is the Higgs boson. So, somehow, in some sense, we knew the theory was right because it had worked so well but, in other ways, it was this mystery, because there was a missing piece."

On July 4, 2012, CERN's Director General Rolf Dieter-Heuer cautiously announced the discovery of a new particle, with all the proper characteristics of a Higgs boson. "They had finally collected enough data that they could actually, definitively say, "We've seen something, and that something looks like a Higgs boson," says Tuts. For these two physicists, and thousands of others around the world, the adventure is just beginning. Still ahead at CERN is an effort to unravel more exotic mysteries, from figuring out what happened immediately after the Big Bang to discovering extra dimensions of time and space!

"It's like Columbus heading off into the ocean. We don't know what's going to be there. Maybe we'll discover America. Maybe we'll discover India. Who knows? This is a triumph of human curiosity. It's really key to our understanding of the universe," says Tuts.

The Daily Galaxy via National Science Foundation 

Image credit: 2008, Courtesy of CERN

Comments

The previous 'discovery' of the elusive particle has been declared a mistake, it is a vanilla by which they mean generic so no, there was no Higgs discovered. May we not progress forward without the assumption that it will yet be found?

warp 2, mr sulu.

Quote: "The search for a mysterious subatomic particle can certainly involve some enormous tools, not to mention a multitude of scientists. The effort to find the elusive "Higgs boson" includes over 5,800 scientists from 56 countries! It's a subatomic particle that gives other particles, such as quarks and electrons, their mass".

AD: Yes, the total efforts and costs are enormous - and totally in vain for science and humanity.

Based on the ancient thoughts and assumptions of “gravity”, the scientists believe that one little subatomic particle gives mass to everything else in the Universe.

- Mass is given by electric charge that heat up/ionizes gasses and particles (plasma) that are sorted out via the magnetic swirling fields. When the electric charge is strong enough, “metallic” particles lumps together via nuclear electromagnetic forces and lighter gasses also are sorted out and assembled in larger spheres.

The hypothesis of elementary formation, as for instants with a presolar cloud of gas and dust that suddenly decides to collapse via gravity, is nonsense.

Our solar system is an integrated part of the galactic formation and orbit around the galactic center in which very strong formative nuclear forces makes the stars and planets as described above.

Therefore it is logical that our solar system (as everything else in the galaxy) once was created in the galactic center and relative slowly has moved out in the galactic arms – thus indeed confirming “the galactic rotation anomaly” which states that all objects in our galaxy orbit the galactic center with the same orbital velocity.

Links to real cosmology:
http://www.electricuniverse.info/Introduction
http://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/eg-contents/

Ivar Nielsen
Natural Philosopher

Reply to John. The fundamental human need to explore and obtain the truth(knowledge) is NOT a waste of money nor is it in vain. Review of your explanation of "how things happen" in cosmological physics is absurd. You have to be a "Flat Earther" proponent.

Once again Ivar explains everything to us. Thanks Ivar.

@John,
I of course agree that humans need to obtain the truth about the world and the cosmos we live in.

What I especially oppose is the "scientific" methods used in modern cosmology and astrophysics.

- Take for instants again the "galactic rotation anomaly" as an example. Here the assumed laws of gravity and celestial movements around an also assumed gravity center were DIRECTLY CONTRADICTED BY INSTRUMENTAL OBSERVATION.

In such a case, the hypothesis and the laws immediately should be discarded or revised, but what happened? The scientists just added an unknown force, "dark matter", in order to keep their wrong assumptions and the attached concretely contradicted laws.

If the contradiction was taken care of in a scientifically way, the scientists would get very much the same answers and explanations about how particles gather weight and about the galactic formation and spherical circuit as I described above here.

The “truth” about our world and cosmos don’t come by adding things and phenomenon’s that isn´t there. This is misleading and it is not in concordance with the basically scientific methods. It is misleading for the scientists and for all of us who really are seeking for understanding and knowledge.

By NOT working with the genuine scientific methods and natural laws, the work in CERN and other cosmological areas are in vain and all too costly and misleading for humanity as such.

NB: John, if your "Flat Earther proponent” reply in fact was addressed to me, you totally must have missed my theme of “3D spherical circuits” which has nothing to do with any kind of flatness at all.

CAN’T DIS CERN
-- James Ph. Kotsybar

Take two Swiss clocks, Swiss for their precision;
accelerate them near the speed of light;
steer them into a direct collision
to smash them with all available might.

Splinter their casings and dislodge their gears,
and, like they were some vogue hotsy-totsy
starlette involved in political smears,
quick snap pictures like a paparazzi.

Then, from the photos, attempt to surmise
how it all fit together and kept time
before the annilhilating surprise
of springs, escapement, balance wheels and chime.

And when you’ve grasped how hard that is to learn,
you’ll understand just what goes on at CERN.

I'll take any bets anyone wants to place with me that no particle conferring "mass" or "gravity" on matter will be found, say, by 2014 for the purposes of the bet, but in fact such a particle will NEVER be found as predicted by Reg Mundy in "The Situation of Gravity". A small fraction of the money spent at CERN should be used to "break" the laws of physics so we can re-appraise our theories from the ground up as suggested by Erik Verlinde in his article "Gravity Doesn't Exist".


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