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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid