pigrabbitbear writes: "The hunt for the Higgs boson, that most elusive particle of physics, the one that gives other particles mass, came closer to an end on July 4. Experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, revealed evidence of the particle. But the LHC didn’t do it alone. The search has been a massive, costly and unprecedented international effort that began thousands of miles away, at another atom smasher located underneath the Illinois prairie.
When the Tevatron opened in 1983 at Fermi National Laboratory, outside Chicago, it was the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, designed to smash protons and antiprotons together in order to see what makes up the universe. After its discovery in 1995 of the top quark, the most massive subatomic particle, the Tevatron would begin the search for the Higgs. When the LHC came online in 2009, scientists at the Tevatron’s two experiments, CDF and DZero, would join physicists at their European counterpart in the meticulous hunt. At times, it seemed that America’s biggest science experiment might even beat the LHC to the punch."
pigrabbitbear writes: "Tomorrow, when the world hears a giant announcement about the Higgs boson from scientists at Europe’s CERN laboratory, they might not notice its American accomplice. On Monday, the Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, or Fermilab, announced its best evidence yet for the existence of the Higgs, the particle theorized to give matter its mass. In its particle collision experiments, a significant “bump” is hard to see against the noise of other particles, and Fermilab has found a bump in the data with a probability of 1 in 550 that it’s not an error. It’s not a smoking gun for the Higgs — something like that will have to come out of CERN’s experiments — but it’s something."