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Posts Tagged "Large Hadron Collider"

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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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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

Particles and the People Who Love Them: Documentary Shows Human Side of Large Hadron Collider

Particle Fever poster

Full disclosure: I cried at a movie about particle physics. And I wasn’t alone. As the film showed footage of the July 4, 2012 announcement of the Higgs boson discovery, I noticed the woman next to me wiping her eyes just as I was doing the same. I was at a screening of the new [...]

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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 [...]

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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

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 [...]

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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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Symbiartic

Physics Hasn’t Looked This Hot Since The Big Bang

13-032FEATURE

The ATLAS detector at CERN is overwhelming to mere mortals like myself. It’s one of four detectors along the Large Hadron Collider designed to detect the most fundamental particles in our universe. It sits in a cave 92 meters below ground, is over 45 meters long and weighs a mere 7000 metric tons (that’s equivalent [...]

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