ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "Higgs"

Critical Opalescence

Physicists Look Beyond the Large Hadron Collider, to the Very Large Hadron Collider

In 1954 the renowned physicist Enrico Fermi did a simple but depressing calculation about future particle accelerators. To create particles with an energy of 3 teraelectron-volts, he estimated, you’d have to build a ring 8,000 kilometers in radius at a cost of $170 billion. It was a rare instance of Fermi being wrong. The Large [...]

Keep reading »
Critical Opalescence

What Is the Higgs Boson? [Video]

Critical Opalescence

Quantum Horse Races and Crystals of Light

I’d heard of quantum dice, quantum poker, quantum roulette, and even quantum Russian roulette, but a quantum horse race? I learned about this surreal game of chance last December during a symposium at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore. Start with a row of rubidium atoms, place your bets, let ʼem go, and measure [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Re-Live The Tevatron’s Demise, or Just Hear Some Fermilab Rap from 1992 [Video]

By now the huge Higgs news out of CERN is no longer news. The apparent discovery of the Higgs boson has been rehashed countless times in the three-plus weeks since physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) outside Geneva announced they had found a new particle with a strong resemblance to the long-sought Higgs. What [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

5 Sigma—What’s That?

Chances are, you heard this month about the discovery of a tiny fundamental physics particle that may be the long-sought Higgs boson.  The phrase five-sigma was tossed about by scientists to describe the strength of the discovery. So, what does five-sigma mean? In short, five-sigma corresponds to a p-value, or probability, of 3×10-7, or about [...]

Keep reading »
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, [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

The Higgs, Sterile Neutrinos and Spintronics: Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Day 2

With excitement building about an announcement due tomorrow from scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider, today’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting talks kicked off with the Higgs, explored some mysterious anomalies with neutrinos and looked forward to some practical applications of spintronics coming soon in information and communication technologies. (You can read all our coverage [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
PsiVid

A Capella Science-Rolling in the Higgs

A capella science

What a reddit find! Physics student Tim Blais has begun an odyssey of creating harmonically enjoyable science-packed song videos! On his Facebook page, he describes it as “An educational and utterly nerdy online video project.” I’m all for that! On his about page, we read: “A Capella Science is an online video project by Tim [...]

Keep reading »
Talking back

Higgsteria: We Didn’t Need No U.S. Supercollider

“Europe Overtakes U.S. in Physics Pursuing God Particle,” the headline blared. The Bloomberg News story declared that the home of Galileo and Newton has recaptured the lead in physics with its pursuit of the Higgs boson, a place in the scientific firmament that was once indisputably owned by the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin. The story [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X