Scientists at CERN are preparing to unveil the preliminary results of their 2012 data analysis and ongoing search for the elusive, subatomic Higgs Boson particle.
Newsnight, the BBC’s flagship politics and topical news program added to the speculation when they tweeted this statement on their official Twitter last night, “On Newsnight now – reports that Cern have found the Higgs Boson.”
On July 4 CERN will host a seminar to reveal their findings, during which a live Q and A (via video link) with delegates attending the 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition center will also take place. After the high wattage seminar, a press conference at CERN will follow.
Some are speculating that definitive proof of the particle has been found, among them some of the physicists involved in the research at the Large Hadron Collider.
Others, like CERN spokesman James Gillies are playing down a possible “Eureka” event.”It’s still premature to say anything so definitive,” he said.
Gillies also said research at the LHC is being carried out under the aegis of two teams and that until analysis is compared and collated from both, the final results are still unknown.
In a June 22 press release from CERN, Steve Myers, Director for Accelerators and Technology said,
“Data taking for ICHEP concluded on Monday 18 June after a very successful first period of LHC running in 2012. “
The press release also says that the latest experiments at the LHC were designed to present the “maximum possible quantity of data to the experiments before the ICHEP conference.”
And further that,
“[These] experiments have been refining their analysis techniques to improve their efficiency in picking out Higgs-like events from the millions of collisions occurring every second.”
The long sought Higgs Boson particle, also called the “God Particle” by some is, to quote Wikipedia – “a hypothetical elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics.”
Proof of the particle’s existence would validate the Standard Model as correct. Essentially, this model is the sum of scientific knowledge about the universe: what it’s made of, how it works, and the forces that govern the behavior of phenomena.
Finding such a particle would prove the existence of the Higgs Field – a pervasive and invisible force that confers mass on some particles, and stops them from moving chaotically through the universe at the speed of light – and explain how the universe moved from a nascent pea-soup state to one composed of stars, life, planets and other cosmic bodies.
From “tantalizing glimpses” in December,” definitive Higgs Boson evidence could as Gillies says, “take us beyond the Standard Model and into the rest of the universe that we currently know nothing about.”
Research to find the particle is sited at the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, near Geneva. It cost 3 billion euros to build and is the world’s biggest and most powerful particle accelerator. Measuring 27 km, it’s situated in a tunnel 100 metres underground on the Swiss-French border.
Inside this accelerator, two beams of energy are fired directly at each other to create particle collisions that recreate (as closely as possible) the conditions that existed in the universe fracto-seconds after the Big Bang occurred, 13.7 billion years ago.
“We, too, are holding our breath,” blogged Pauline Gagnon, a Canadian physicist and a member of one of the teams working at the LHC.
Gagnon is not the only one.