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Science

Large Hadron Collider May Have Produced New Matter 238

Covalent writes "The Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator and the 'Big Bang machine' that was used to discover what appears to be the long-sought Higgs boson particle (as announced July 4), may have another surprise up its sleeve this year: The LHC looks to have produced a new type of matter, according to a new analysis of particle collision data by scientists at MIT and Rice University. The new type of matter, which has yet to be verified, is theorized to be one of two possible forms: Either 'color-glass condensate' — a flattened nucleus transformed into a 'wall' of gluons, which are smaller binding subatomic particles, or it could be 'quark-gluon plasma,' a dense, soup or liquid-like collection of individual particles."
Science

Interviews: Giovanni Organtini Answers About the Higgs and LHC 123

You asked questions about the LHC (and in particular, the believed discovery of the Higgs Boson) of physicist Giovanni Organtini. Organtini has responded (answers below), and written a brief introduction to explain what the Higgs boson is and how it provides mass to other particles: "The Higgs mechanism was introduced to explain the fact that experimentally particles have mass. In fact, without the Higgs mechanism, the equations of motion for particles can only be written for massless particles. The actual mechanism is rather difficult to understand without a solid Quantum Field Theory background, but can be understood as follows: most of you know that particles gain some energy when they interact with a field. As an example, consider a book on a table. Since the book is subject to the earth's gravitational field, it has some potential energy that transforms into kinetic energy if it is free to fall. The potential energy depends on the mass of the book and on the intensity of the gravitational field. With the introduction of Special Relativity, however, we have to add an extra term to the energy of the book depending on its mass only (the famous E=mc^2). Introducing a special field (the Higgs field), we can turn this term into something similar to the gravitational potential energy, i.e. something that contributes to the energy of the book because it interacts with a field. The mass of a particle, then, is nothing but its potential energy in the Higgs field. The Higgs field is auto-interacting, i.e. it interacts with itself, as the electric and magnetic fields do. As the electromagnetic field can, the Higgs field can also propagate through space, but since it's auto-interacting, it gains some energy from itself, as the book gains energy from the interaction with it, resulting in the appearance of a mass for such a field, that becomes observable as a particle called the Higgs boson. You can find a more formal, yet simple, explanation of the mechanism here." Read on for his answers to reader questions.
Science

Interviews: Ask Physicist Giovanni Organtini About the Possible Higgs Boson Disc 170

Giovanni Organtini of Italy's National Institute of Nuclear Physics (well, Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) has agreed to answer questions about the recent observations of a particle consistent with the Higgs Boson. Dr. Organtini is part of the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. He is careful to note that while the researchers "[believe] that this new particle, with a mass 125 times that of a proton, is the famous Higgs boson," they "need to study that new particle more deeply in the next months to be conclusive on that. Organtini likes free software (he's written Linux device drivers, too) and has his own physics-heavy YouTube channel, mostly in Italian. Please confine questions to one per post, but feel free to ask as many as you'd like.
Science

New Particle Discovered At CERN 144

New submitter ph4cr writes with news that a new particle has been discovered at CERN that confirms theoretical predictions. A pre-print of the academic paper is available at the arXiv (PDF). From the article: "Physicists from the University of Zurich have discovered a previously unknown particle composed of three quarks in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator. A new baryon could thus be detected for the first time at the LHC. The baryon known as Xi_b^* confirms fundamental assumptions of physics regarding the binding of quarks. ... In the course of proton collisions in the LHC at CERN, physicists Claude Amsler, Vincenzo Chiochia and Ernest Aguiló from the University of Zurich's Physics Institute managed to detect a baryon with one light and two heavy quarks. The particle Xi_b^* comprises one 'up,' one 'strange' and one 'bottom' quark (usb), is electrically neutral and has a spin of 3/2 (1.5). Its mass is comparable to that of a lithium atom. The new discovery means that two of the three baryons predicted in the usb composition by theory have now been observed."
Science

LHC Powers Up To 4 TeV 142

An anonymous reader writes "Due to a decision made at Chamonix, the LHC will operate with a 4 TeV beam energy in 2012. This will allow them to collect as much data as possible (15 inverse femtobarns for ATLAS and CMS) before the whole accelerator complex gets shut down for about 20 months to prepare for even higher energies. 'By the time the LHC goes into its first long stop at the end of this year, we will either know that a Higgs particle exists or have ruled out the existence of a Standard Model Higgs,' said CERN's Research Director, Sergio Bertolucci. 'Either would be a major advance in our exploration of nature, bringing us closer to understanding how the fundamental particles acquire their mass, and marking the beginning of a new chapter in particle physics.'"
Science

Higgs Signal Gains Strength 189

ananyo writes "Today the two main experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle accelerator, submitted the results of their latest analyses. The new papers (here here and here) boost the case for December's announcement of a possible Higgs signal. Physicists working on the In the case of the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, have been able to look at another possible kind of Higgs decay, and that allows them to boost their Higgs signal from 2.5 sigma to 3.1 sigma. Taken together with data from the other detector, ATLAS, Higgs' overall signal now unofficially stands at about 4.3 sigma."
Science

New Particle Identified At LHC 164

First time accepted submitter m4ktub writes "A team of researchers working with the ATLAS experiment at the LHC have published an article in arXiv where they describe what is believed to be the first observation of a new particle: the boson Chi-b (3P). Professor Roger Jones, Head of the Lancaster ATLAS group, said 'While people are rightly interested in the Higgs boson, which we believe gives particles their mass and may have started to reveal itself, a lot of the mass of everyday objects comes from the strong interaction we are investigating using the Chi-b.'"
Science

LHC Homes In On Possible Higgs Boson Around 126GeV 210

New submitter Ginger Unicorn writes "In a seminar held at CERN today, the ATLAS and CMS experiments presented the status of their searches for the Standard Model Higgs boson. Their results are based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the elusive Higgs. The main conclusion is that the Standard Model Higgs boson, if it exists, is most likely to have a mass constrained to the range 116-130 GeV by the ATLAS experiment, and 115-127 GeV by CMS. Tantalising hints have been seen by both experiments in this mass region, but these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery."
Science

LHC, CERN Has Found the Hugs Boson 86

An anonymous reader writes "In a ground-breaking announcement issued today, , the European Organization of Nuclear Research (which hosts the enormous and Large Hadron Collider) has announced the discovery of the hugs boson, an unexpected gauge boson which was not by the Standard Model. Unexpectedly, the discovery was made by a high-school during his scholarship. Due to his , it is not clear whether he can be awarded the Nobel Prize. However, his teacher has generously agreed to be awarded in his name, in case of any ."
Science

CERN LHC Reaches Its Goals For 2010 90

Anonymous Dupaeur writes "The goals for the first run of the most powerful particle collider (and the most energetic storage ring since ISR) were recently surpassing the 10^32 level of luminosity, with a destructive 15 MJ energy per-beam. This is a significant milestone, opening the way to collect more and more data. The current plan is to stop the proton collisions soon, and provide an ion (Pb) beam and conclude this year with a X-mass break. The next year is expected to bring at least one inverse femtobarn of data, which is achievable with such beam power. After that, the entire accelerator complex will be shut down for a year, due to budget costs for science in Europe."
Science

LHC To Idle All Accelerators In 2012 117

sciencehabit writes "Particle physicists and science fans everywhere knew that the European particle physics laboratory, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, would shut down the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest atom smasher, for all of 2012 for repairs. Many expected that the shutdown would stretch to more than a year, which CERN officials confirmed today. But most probably did not expect CERN to idle all its other accelerators at the same time, shutting down a variety of smaller projects and forcing hundreds of scientists not working on the LHC to take an unanticipated break in data taking. The longer shutdown could be a chance for US scientists working on the Tevatron at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, if researchers there can persuade lab management to keep the machine going instead of shutting it down in 2011 as currently planned." Reader suraj.sun notes other CERN news making the rounds right now about plans for the International Linear Collider, a 31-kilometer-long collider designed to complement the LHC. Construction on the ILC could begin as soon as 2012.
Science

First Collisions At the LHC 256

An anonymous reader writes "At 1:06 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST) today, the first protons collided at 7 TeV in the Large Hadron Collider. These first collisions, recorded by the LHC experiments, mark the start of the LHC's research program."
Science

Europe's LHC To Run At Half-Energy Through 2011 194

quaith writes "ScienceInsider reports that Europe's Large Hadron Collider will run at half its maximum energy through 2011 and likely not at all in 2012. The previous plan was to ramp it up to 70% of maximum energy this year. Under the new plan, the LHC will run at 7 trillion electron-volts through 2011. The LHC would then shut down for a year so workers could replace all of its 10,000 interconnects with redesigned ones allowing the LHC to run at its full 14 TeV capacity in 2013. The change raises hopes at the LHC's lower-energy rival, the Tevatron Collider at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, of being extended through 2012 instead of being shut down next year. Fermilab researchers are hoping that their machine might collect enough data to beat the LHC to the discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle key to how physicists explain the origin of mass."
Science

LHC Reaches Record Energy 347

toruonu writes "Yesterday evening the Large Hadron Collider at CERN for the first time accelerated protons in both directions of the ring to 1.18 TeV. Even though the 1 TeV barrier per beam was first broken a week ago, this marks the first time that the beam was in the machine in both directions at the same time, allowing possibly for collisions at a center of mass energy of 2.36 TeV. Although the test lasted mere minutes, it was enough to have detectors record the very first events at 2.36 TeV. LHC passes Tevatron (the particle collider at Fermilab that operates at 1.96 TeV) and becomes the highest energy particle collider in the world (so far it was effectively just the highest energy storage ring...)"

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