Billions have been spent researching the little fellow, but it seems that scientists (mad, bad and downright boffin-like) may be ready to start discussing the physical characteristics of the Higgs Boson particle. KitGuru picks up a white coat, clipboard and pen to see what’s what down in old Geneva town.
On 10th September 2008, much of the world sat glued to their TVs, waiting for what was to become one of the most underwhelming launches in the history of humanity. While the idea that 2 beams would circulate the underground piping of the LHC was interesting for a 5 minute news item, everyone was expecting more. Some news editors had heard that microscopic black holes could be formed and wanted their cameras and reporters as close to the event horizon as possible.
Like a firework that fails to work properly, the futter-futter-thunk which followed the dropping of food items into the works, meant that the LHC went from front page hero to news zero in no time at all.
One team of boffins, working on something called an ATLAS detector, say that their data is 99% likely to prove the existence of a Higgs Boson particle with a mass of around 125 GeV (giggling electronic voltages, apparently). While, at the same time, another group known as the CMS team, say that their data might have erroneous data to the tune of around 5% [Actually, to be 100% accurate with these accuracies, both teams quote the likelihood of errors with their data, more than ‘chances that it is accurate’ – Ed].
Two of CERN’s most senior lab people, Oliver and Rolf, were quick to point out that this new evidence is exciting, but far from conclusive.
So, how long will confirmation of these possible findings take? CERN directors are indicating that full analysis and checking might take around one year. At that stage, we will know if Peter Higgs from the United Kingdom, actually nailed the origin of particles in his theory of 1946.
KitGuru says: It gives you a warm glow to know that a British Physicist chappy, armed with tea, biscuits, pen, pad and a feeling that the good old universe should jolly well make sense – managed to nail the origin of matter 50 years ago – while the rest of the world needs a multi-billion dollar collider and huge teams of people to see if he was right. Tally Ho!
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