Science & Technology

Science Made Simple: What is the Higgs Boson (God Particle)?

The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) is a general-purpose detector at the Giant Hadron Collider (LHC). It has a broad physics program starting from finding out the Commonplace Mannequin (together with the Higgs boson) to looking for further dimensions and particles that might make up darkish matter. The CMS detector is constructed round an enormous solenoid magnet. This takes the type of a cylindrical coil of superconducting cable that generates a area of 4 tesla, about 100,000 occasions the magnetic area of the Earth. The sector is confined by a metal “yoke” that kinds the bulk of the detector’s 14,000-tonne weight. Credit score: CERN

The Higgs boson is the related to the Higgs area, a area that offers mass to different elementary particles resembling electrons and quarks. A particle’s mass determines how a lot it resists altering its pace or place when it encounters a drive. Not all elementary particles have mass. The photon, which is the particle of sunshine and carries the electromagnetic drive, has no mass in any respect.

The Higgs boson was proposed in 1964 by Peter Higgs, François Englert, and 4 different theorists to clarify why sure particles have mass. Scientists confirmed its existence in 2012 by way of the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Giant Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland. This discovery led to the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to Higgs and Englert.

The primary ATLAS Internal Detector Finish-cap after full insertion inside the Liquid Argon Cryostat. Credit score: © CERN

Scientists are actually finding out the attribute properties of the Higgs boson to find out if it exactly matches the predictions of the Commonplace Mannequin of particle physics. If the Higgs boson deviates from the mannequin, it could present clues to new particles that solely work together with different Commonplace Mannequin particles by way of the Higgs boson and thereby result in new scientific discoveries.

LHC tunnel. Credit score: © CERN

The LHC at CERN is the highest-energy particle collider in the world. It is at the moment the solely place scientists can create and research Higgs bosons. The DOE Workplace of Science (SC) contributed essential accelerator magnets to assist assemble the LHC. DOE additionally helps many scientists, engineers, and technicians in the LHC program. The LHC hosts 4 giant experimental particle detectors, two of that are partially supported by SC’s Workplace of Excessive Power Physics: ATLAS and CMS. U.S. researchers account for about 20% and 25% of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations, respectively. In addition they play management roles in lots of features of every experiment. These experiments are making exact measurements of the Higgs boson’s properties to find out if it matches the Commonplace Mannequin predictions or gives clues to new physics, exploring new particles and their interactions, and figuring out the new physics of darkish matter.

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