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Posts Tagged "CERN"

Basic Space

Happy 20th Birthday to the free, open web!

9304003_02-A4-at-144-dpi

Today Cern is celebrating 20 years of the free, open web. We all know the World Wide Web was created in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, during his time at Cern. But did you know that it was another four years until the particle physics lab officially declared the web a free for all? On 30 [...]

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Basic Space

Margaret Thatcher knew about the W boson discovery before everyone else

Image

Margaret Thatcher was many things – including a scientist. And, thanks to her scientific inclination, she was one of the first people to be told about the discovery of the W boson at CERN. Thatcher visited the UA1 experiment, which ran on CERN’s Super Proton Synchrotron, in August 1982. She kept her visit low-key, reportedly asking to [...]

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Basic Space

Researcher profile: Heather Gray on life at Cern #lnlm12

Heather Gray, originally from South Africa and currently working at CERN, is one of the attendees producing a video diary to document her time at the Lindau meeting this year. I caught up with her over email just before the start of the meeting to find out what a day’s work at CERN is really like [...]

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Basic Space

Faster-than-light neutrinos expose the inner workings of science

It looks like the faster-than-light neutrino saga – or should that now be slower-than-light or the-same-speed-as-light? – may nearly be over. On Friday, CERN updated their statement on the initial OPERA result with some new results from ICARUS, another experiment at the Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy. Here are the important bits of the statement: [...]

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Basic Space

Faster-than-light neutrinos explained?

The faster-than-light neutrinos seen by the OPERA particle physics experiment last year may have just been explained. By a loose cable. I wish I was joking. To back up a little, the OPERA collaboration based at the Gran Sasso laboratory underneath the mountain of the same name in Italy published a paper to pre-print server [...]

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Basic Space

A Sweet and Simple Higgs Discovery

Edible CERN

Tomorrow afternoon, in “the most eagerly awaited scientific presentation of the century to date”, particle physics laboratory Cern will update the world on its search for the Higgs boson, that elusive particle that is believed to give mass to fundamental particles. The Higgs is the only particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics, [...]

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Basic Space

Why the Higgs Boson Matters

Every year the Royal College of Science Union at Imperial College runs an essay competition called the Science Challenge. There are usually four questions to answer and a number of prizes for the essays that answer them best. I’ve been shortlisted before, but this year I finally won something — the Physics prize. Check out [...]

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Basic Space

Faster-than-light neutrinos show science in action

Gran Sasso mountain sits on top of both the OPERA and ICARUS experiments. Credit: {link url="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gran_sasso_italia.jpg"}Wikipedia/w:nl:Gebruiker:Idéfix{/link}

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 24 hours, you’ve probably heard about the neutrinos that turned up at the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy a few nanoseconds earlier than they were supposed to, in a feat that would have required them to travel faster than the speed of light. The story [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Superluminal Neutrino Result Caused by Faulty Connection?

A data transmission problem? (Wikipedia/BigRiz)

Although still awaiting full confirmation, a breaking news report in Science (and Nature, see below) indicates that the measurement of an apparently faster-than-light travel time for muon-neutrinos generated at CERN and detected at the Gran Sasso laboratory – which hit the world headlines back in September 2011 – may have been due to a problematic [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Superluminal muon-neutrinos? Don’t get your hopes up.

Ghosts in the aether (CERN)

The past 24 hours have suddenly been awash in neutrinos, in addition to the 65 billion passing through every square centimeter of your skin every second from the Sun’s core. Although hardly the stuff of planetary science or astrobiology I have found myself facing questions from a few people who wonder if faster-than-light particles could [...]

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Observations

The Web Turns 25…Sort of

Berners-Lee

In March 1989, Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee proposed a way to link together documents on different computers that were connected to the Internet. He sent a brief proposal to his boss at CERN, the high-energy physics lab in Geneva, and it sat on a shelf for 14 months. Berners-Lee recirculated the pitch, got an okay [...]

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Observations

The World Wide Web Became Free 20 Years Ago Today

You and I can access billions of Web pages, post blogs, write code for our own killer apps—in short, do anything we want on the Web—all for free! And we’ve enjoyed free reign because 20 years ago, today, Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and his employer, the CERN physics lab in Geneva, published a statement that [...]

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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

LHC Experiment Yields No Insight into Post-Higgs Physics

LHC beauty, magnet, B meson

A new discovery at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva casts a shadow across a hypothetical realm of particle physics that many had hoped would be the collider’s next major exploration after the apparently successful hunt for the Higgs boson. Physicists working with the collider’s LHC beauty, or LHCb, detector have observed a new kind [...]

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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

Not So Fast: Independent Measurement Shows Neutrinos Don’t Exceed Speed of Light

CNGS-neutrinos

Albert may still be right. An attempt to repeat an experiment that showed a subatomic particle traveling faster than the speed of light suggests that the earlier result may have erred, and that Einstein’s famed special theory of relativity remains intact. A mostly European collaboration of physicists working on an experiment called ICARUS announced today [...]

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Observations

Could GPS Problems Explain Seemingly Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos?

One of the biggest stories in science last year was the announcement by a European physics collaboration that neutrinos can seemingly travel faster than light. Most physicists were skeptical of the result, which would upend a well-tested tenet of modern physics—namely, that nothing outpaces light. And the researchers on the OPERA experiment that made the [...]

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Observations

Large Hadron Collider Turns Up the Heat in Higgs Hunt

Europe’s Large Hadron Collider, already the most powerful particle collider in history—and by a wide margin at that—is about to break its own record. The collider outside Geneva will run at an energy of 4 trillion electron-volts (TeV) in 2012, up from 3.5 TeV in 2011, CERN announced February 13. (CERN is the European physics [...]

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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 [...]

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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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