Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Knocking at the LHC Door": CERN & The Great Experiment

Well, the world hasn't ended yet with a bang nor a whimper, neither by ice nine nor fire. But the Large Hadron Collider seems to be operational, although it may be a few weeks before it accomplishes its primary goal, the creation of conditions that exiasted at the subatomic level at the point of the Big Bang. This may yield further scientific nuggets, including the possible detection of the Higgs Boson, the so-far-undetected "G-d particle": read on...

Wikipedia: The Higgs boson or BEH Mechanism, popularised as the "God Particle", is a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics; and is the only Standard Model particle not yet observed. An experimental observation of it would help to explain how otherwise massless elementary particles cause matter to have mass. More specifically, the Higgs boson would explain the difference between the massless photon and the relatively massive W and Z bosons. Elementary particle masses, and the differences between electromagnetism (caused by the photon) and the weak force (caused by the W and Z bosons), are critical to many aspects of the structure of microscopic (and hence macroscopic) matter; thus, if it exists, the Higgs boson is an integral and pervasive component of the material world.

No experiment has yet directly detected the existence of the Higgs boson, but this may change as the recently built Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN begins to produce new scientific data. The Higgs mechanism, which gives mass to vector bosons, was theorized in August 1964 by François Englert and Robert Brout ("boson scalaire"),[1] in October of the same year by Peter Higgs,[2] working from the ideas of Philip Anderson, and independently by G. S. Guralnik, C. R. Hagen, and T. W. B. Kibble[3] who worked out the results by the spring of 1963.[4] The three papers written by Higgs, Brout, Englert, Guralnik, Hagen, and Kibble were each recognized as milestone papers by Physical Review Letters 50th anniversary celebration.[5] Higgs proposed that the existence of a massive scalar particle could be a test of the theory, a remark added to his Physical Review letter[6] at the suggestion of the referee.[7] Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam were the first to apply the Higgs mechanism to the electroweak symmetry breaking. The electroweak theory predicts a neutral particle whose mass is not far from that of the W and Z bosons.


Here's news from the source:
The CERN Webcast of the Large Hadron Collider (it may be down intermittently):

http://webcast.cern.ch/

Groovy Gecko reports on the first operational steps:
http://dl.groovygecko.net/anon.groovy/groovygecko/cern/index.asp

It's a moment that the world awaited with eager anticipation. Amidst all the controversy and fears that the scientists may blow us all to bits, the first beam in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN was successfully steered around 27 kilometres of the world's most powerful particle accelerator at 10h28 CET this morning.

Today's milestone marks the culmination of over 20 years of patient dedication and £5billion. Clearly we have entered a new and exciting era. "It's a fantastic moment," said LHC project leader Lyn Evans, "we can now look forward to a new era of understanding about the origins and evolution of the universe."

Of course, CERN decided to webcast the event, thereby not only providing transparency but also information to millions around the world. Pivotal events like these are best relayed live, not only to demonstrate the scale and importance of the project, but also to provide breaking-news and updates.


CERN: Firing up that Large hadron Collider:

10 September: the LHC’s first circulating beam
On 10 September, a first beam of protons will circulate in the LHC. The first moments in the life of the LHC will be an exciting time for the CERN staff, and will be captured by more than 250 media organizations from all over the world.

The first injection of the beam into the machine will be between 9:00 and 10:00 a. m. At 9:15 the LHC project leader, Lyn Evans, will give a brief explanation of the day’s proceedings in French followed by some words from Robert Aymar, CERN Director general.

CERN personnel are invited to follow the first beam day events, which will be shown in the following rooms around CERN:

All day:
Council Chamber, Main Auditorium, IT Auditorium, AB Auditorium Prévessin, Conference Room 40-S2-A01, Conference Room 40-S2-C01.

Afternoon:
AB Auditorium Meyrin, AT Auditorium.

Please note that the event will also be webcast but, given the limited number of connections, this option is intended for use of the public outside CERN. CERN personnel are encouraged to follow the event from the conference rooms.

Copyright CERN 2007 - CERN Publications, DSU-CO


I heard the news today, oh boy:

http://cdsweb.cern.ch/journal/article?name=CERNBulletin&issue=49/2007&number=2&category=News%20Articles&ln=en

1 comment:

  1. I am still of the opinion that a teeny tiny black hole, a baby, may be forming. Who knows, it may be hiding out in porter's locker. Has anyone seen the guy who mops up at the Collider lately?

    ReplyDelete

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