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Posts Tagged "Higgs boson"

@ScientificAmerican

Particle Physics Informs the Ultimate Questions

Editor’s Note: Author and Fermilab Senior Scientist Don Lincoln is set to teach “Mysteries of the Universe” from October 13 – 24 for Scientific American’s Professional Learning Program. We recently talked with Dr. Lincoln about why he became a physicist and his motivations to share what he discovers. When I was a young boy, I [...]

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But Seriously...

Particle Fever, I’ve Got It!

LHC

By now, I hope you’ve heard about Particle Fever. It premiered a few weeks ago – if I remember correctly, the same week as Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new Cosmos premiered. What a great week for science in the mass media. While it hasn’t gotten quite as much attention as Cosmos, it deserves to! It’s a [...]

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But Seriously...

The Higgs Boson Walks Into a Church…

Higgs Boson Walks Into a Church joke-Brian Malow

In honor of Peter Higgs and Francois Englert being awarded the Nobel Prize in physics 48 years after they predicted the existence of the Higgs Boson, here’s all I have to say on the matter: To see the joke in action/context, here’s a stand up routine of mine that’s been online since 2009. I was [...]

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Guest Blog

U.S. Particle Physics Program Aims for the Future

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory's Main Ring and Main Injector as seen from the air. (Credit: Reidar Hahn/Fermilab)

In the last few years, stories have abounded in the press of the successes of the Large Hadron Collider, most notably the discovery of the Higgs boson. This has led some to speculate that European research is ascendant while U.S. research is falling behind. While there is no argument that U.S. particle physics budgets have [...]

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Observations

The Fingerprints the Higgs Leaves Behind

The Higgs at Last

Tomorrow, the Nobel prize in physics will most likely be awarded to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert. Along with other researchers, the two physicists are credited with the 1964 introduction of the then-theoretical Higgs field—a fluid that permeates every corner of the universe and gives each particle a distinct mass. The physical manifestation of this [...]

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Observations

Besides Higgs, Who Might Get the Physics Nobel?

Artist's impression of the planet around Alpha Centauri B

Tomorrow’s Nobel Prize in physics is widely anticipated to go to Peter Higgs, perhaps along with Francois Englert, for their nearly 50-year-old prediction of a new particle that we now call the Higgs boson. Last year’s discovery of the Higgs was one of the most important events in physics in recent decades; surely Higgs and [...]

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Observations

It’s Official: We’ve Found the Higgs Boson–but Which One?

Potential Higgs to photon decay event as seen by the CMS experiment at the LHC

When last we checked in on the hunt for the Higgs, physicists weren’t yet ready to call the deal done. They were only willing to say that they had discovered a new particle—some sort of boson—and that this new boson was “Higgs-like.” Their reticence hinged on the measurement of the new particle’s spin, a fundamental [...]

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Observations

Have Scientists Found 2 Different Higgs Bosons?

Higgs boson

A month ago scientists at the Large Hadron Collider released the latest Higgs boson results. And although the data held few obvious surprises, most intriguing were the results that scientists didn’t share. The original Higgs data from back in July had shown that the Higgs seemed to be decaying into two photons more often than [...]

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Observations

“Person of the Year” Nomination for Higgs Boson Riddled with Errors

Time magazine recently posted 30 nominations for its ever-popular “Person of the Year” award. Tucked in between President Barack Obama and the Korean rapper Psy is an unlikely candidate for the “Person of the Year”—a subatomic particle. As Scientific American readers are well aware, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider announced this summer that they [...]

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Observations

Why Do Physicists Care So Much about Finding the Higgs Boson?

higgs boson event display

If you’ve read anything about the Higgs boson, you probably know that this particle is special because it can explain how fundamental particles acquire mass. Specifically, evidence of the boson is evidence that an omnipresent Higgs field exists—one that slows particles down and makes them heavy. But there’s a misconception that sometimes creeps into this [...]

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Observations

New Higgs Results Bring Relief—and Disappointment

Potential Higgs to photon decay event as seen by the CMS experiment at the LHC

This past July, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider announced that they had discovered a new particle that looked much like the long-sought-after Higgs boson. In fact, the Higgs-like particle they found was nearly perfect—based on the available data, it looked almost exactly like what the Standard Model of Particle Physics predicts the Higgs to [...]

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Observations

What It Means to Find “a Higgs”: Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Day 3

Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting with Gross Veltman Rubbia Smoot CERN

Felicitas Pauss, head of international relations at CERN in Geneva, asked for a show of hands from the audience of young scientists: Who worked on the ATLAS or CMS instruments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, or LHC? Many hands went up for each. And who worked as a theorist? More hands appeared—hundreds in all. Last, [...]

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Observations

What Happens If We Find the Higgs Particle–or If We Don’t?

With instruments offering “tantalizing hints” in support of the Higgs boson, the elementary particle thought to endow matter with mass, we stand at a singular moment in time for physics. Will we get sufficient evidence to confirm the existence of the Higgs, thus helping to complete the decades-old Standard Model? Will science have to go [...]

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Observations

Fermilab Set to Reveal “Interesting” Higgs Boson Results

Fermilab at Night

VANCOUVER—Last fall, the Tevatron accelerator at Fermilab in Illinois shut down for good. The long-running accelerator had been eclipsed by the vastly more powerful Large Hadron Collider outside of Geneva, Switzerland, which since 2010 has been generating data at an impressive rate. The move appeared to quash any hopes that Fermilab had of discovering the Higgs [...]

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