News / Science & Technology

After Higgs Hunt, Fermilab Charts New Paths in Physics Research

After Higgs Hunt, Fermilab Charts New Paths in Physics Researchi
X
March 22, 2013 9:05 PM
Scientists in Switzerland announced earlier this month [March 14] that they are confident their experiments with the world's most powerful atom smasher have finally turned up the long-sought Higgs boson, also known as the “God Particle.” Discovery of the elusive sub-atomic particle, which scientists believe imparts mass to all matter, also provides tantalizing clues to some of the most profound mysteries of the universe. The search for Higgs began decades ago at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. And as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, scientists there are developing new technologies to delve even deeper into the mysteries of particle physics.
After Higgs Hunt, Fermilab Charts New Paths in Physics Research
Kane Farabaugh
Scientists in Switzerland announced earlier this month [March 14] that they are confident their experiments with the world's most powerful atom smasher have finally turned up the long-sought Higgs boson, also known as the “God Particle.” Discovery of the elusive sub-atomic particle, which scientists believe imparts mass to all matter, also provides tantalizing clues to some of the most profound mysteries of the universe.

The search for Higgs began decades ago at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. Scientists there are developing new technologies to delve even deeper into the mysteries of particle physics.

At the Grid Computing Center at Fermilab - half a world away from the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland - the key to understanding how the Higgs boson works and what it means for the universe, could be on one of these digital storage devices.

“The data has much more information in it than just information about the Higgs boson,” said scientist Robert Roser, who is overseeing the effort at Fermilab to sift through the computer data generated when atoms are smashed together by the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC.

“It’s a gold mine. You can look at it for years and tease out interesting pieces of information from it. It’s an important store of knowledge that we have to use for decades really,” said Roser.

Roser said Fermilab is not waiting decades, however, to dig deeper into the sub-atomic world.

“Energy matters, and so the higher the energy, the deeper you can probe these different particles to see whether or not there is a substructure inside these particles,” he said.

To get that higher energy, Technical Division scientist Andy Hocker is working with physicists at Fermilab to build the next-generation particle accelerator - one that someday will make the LHC obsolete.

“What we are planning to build here at Fermilab is basically one of the most powerful proton accelerators in the world. We won’t be at the energy frontier anymore, but at the intensity frontier as we call it. An intense beam of protons that is basically unparalleled in the world,” said Hocker.

Instead of particles being accelerated around a vast circle, as with the LHC, Fermilab’s new linear device - housed in a facility about 31 kilometers long - would aim two particle beams in a straight line at each other, much like two bullets fired to collide with each other at the speed of light.

“The advantage of a linear accelerator is that you don’t have to keep those particles on a stable orbit. It’s much easier to send something in a straight line than it is to keep it in orbit in a circle,” said Hocker.

While the technology for the new International Linear Collider might be developed at Fermilab in the United States, engineering physicist Elvin Harms said that if it is approved, it might not be built there.

“Right now I’d say the odds are the Japanese are showing the strongest interest in hosting the International Linear Collider, but I would say that the first word - International - is important because this is going to be an international collaboration,” said Harms.

The International Linear Collider project includes about 2,000 people from 300 universities, and laboratories from 24 different countries. The estimated price tag - between $7 billion and $8 billion.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Otto Krog
March 24, 2013 7:47 AM
The bottom line is that we still don't really know whether Higgs explains mass. I find it interesting that we don't get any statistical facts about the probabilities of it being the Higgs according to the standard model. I am sure somebody has these stats, but I have not seen any yet, at least. Not even in the official press release from CERN.

My take on physics is controversial. I don't think that particles exists. I think that the universe is somposed of close to infinite standing waves, where the end point of each wave is the core of the atom.

Quantum mechanics might not be confusing at all. If you split the entire universe into the physical universe (energy) and infinite separate mental parallel universes (opposite energy), the wave collapse might be explainable as where all the universes meet. Thewaves collapse in the orbit of the electron. The photons transferring energy between these orbits of electrons is what we as observers perceive as reality.

Se more at www.crestroy.com

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs