News24

Big Bang particle discovery 'closer'

2012-06-13 07:36

Geneva - Physicists investigating the make-up of the universe are closing in on the Higgs boson, an elusive particle thought to have been key to turning debris from the Big Bang into stars, planets and finally life, scientists said on Tuesday.

Researchers at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) are using their large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's biggest particle accelerator, to try to prove that the mystery particle really exists.

Poring over huge volumes of data, Cern physicists are confident they are now closer to achieving that aim, outside scientists with links to two key research teams at the Switzerland-based facility said.

"They are getting quite fired up," said one scientist outside Cern but with links to the experiment who declined to be named.

Strong signs of the Higgs were being seen in the same energy range where it was tentatively spotted in 2011, the scientists added, even though the particle is so short-lived that it can only be detected by the traces it leaves.

Big Bang

The quest for the obscure but scientifically crucial Higgs boson is being conducted by harnessing the LHC's high energy accelerator, which is located on the edge of Geneva, to replicate the Big Bang, the process scientists believe brought the known universe into being.

The Higgs is named after Briton Peter Higgs who in 1964 first came up with a detailed idea of what it might be and is the last major missing piece in the so-called Standard Model of how the universe works at the elementary particle level.

Its formal discovery, once it is endorsed by the world scientific community, would almost certainly ensure a Nobel prize for Higgs, now 83 and retired, and perhaps for at least one other European physicist and one American.

The scientists spoke of their Cern colleagues' progress after research chiefs at the Swiss facility decreed a cut-off last weekend in the processing of all data related to the search for the particle ahead of a major physics conference, ICHEP, in Melbourne in mid-July.

There has been widespread speculation that a major announcement on the Higgs, based on careful analysis of the most interesting of over 300 trillion proton collisions in the LHC so far this year, may be made at that gathering.

But there was no confirmation from Cern itself that it was close to formally announcing it had discovered the particle and its linked energy field, thought to have given mass to matter and shape to the universe 13.7 billion years ago.

Researchers on the collider's separate Atlas and CMS detectors have been "blinded" - or cut off from findings from the rival team and even from different groups inside their own.

Conclusion

Cern spokesperson James Gillies said the centre would want to make any important announcement, once there was something to say, in Geneva.

"As for what Atlas and CMS may or may not have in the 2012 data, that's only known to a few people in each experiment right now," he added.

"Blinding" is used in science to ensure that different groups working on identical experiments but with different if similar equipment do not influence the outcome of each other's research.

If they then come to the same conclusion, they can safely be seen to have independently validated each other's results, clearing the way to actually claiming a discovery.

In December 2011, after some 16 months of collisions at lower energy levels than this year, both teams joined at Cern to say they had separately seen "tantalising glimpses" of the Higgs but needed more time to be sure if it was really there.

Data still coming in after last weekend's analysis cut-off will be processed later in the year. Physicists say that more than half of the collisions produce nothing of scientific value and the record of their tracks are automatically dumped.

Comments
  • clifton.andrews - 2012-06-13 08:05

    Chalk up another one for science! Minus yet another point for Creation.

      Chrysippus - 2012-06-13 08:26

      So how exactly will discovery of this particle disprove creation?

      michael.z.jennings - 2012-06-13 08:26

      um, they havent found it yet......

      Squeegee - 2012-06-13 08:31

      Actually, this article has nothing new to say. This is exactly what was said a few months ago. Scientists, like all people enjoy earning a living and need the experiment to continue. Huge money is at stake. I wouldn't be surprised that at the next announcement they 'need more time' etc.

      jman.man.71 - 2012-06-13 08:48

      Correct... "YET".

      paulmichael.keichel - 2012-06-13 08:56

      @Chrysippus - It doesn't. If anything, scientific discoveries simply close the gaps in knowledge that used to be filled by/with God. With every new one made, the unexplained ("God's territory") becomes smaller. As for 'disproving creation' - I'm uncertain that that's the point or result of science, but I do know that science does not have the burden of doing so.

      downwiththeanc - 2012-06-13 09:24

      I believe they will not find evidence of anything. The higgs boson particle is just a theory and so is the big bang. We don't have the intellectual capacity to figure these things out. We have reached a limit.

      Zing - 2012-06-13 09:46

      @downwiththeanc - You can't be serious? Scientific progress is still in acceleration - logarithmic - so no sign of slowing down or stagnating.

      jman.man.71 - 2012-06-13 09:47

      @ downwiththeanc: "we" have reached a limit? Who's we? There is no limit...yet.

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-13 09:54

      um, not quite. This whole story started with an "ELUSIVE particle THOUGHT to have"... next guess please.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 10:00

      @downwiththeanc you've reached your limit , anything out of the Buy Bull is over your head... Damn the man.

  • TheReverendSchizophilioSchadenfreud - 2012-06-13 08:10

    This will be the incontrovertible empirical evidence we have been looking for, which the christians will still ignore in favor of 'god-dunnit'.

      Squeegee - 2012-06-13 08:34

      You are delusional. Christians do not deny science. I'm not threatened in any way by this experiment or whatever comes of it. You are making a huge logical jump (illogical) from finding this particle and disproving God.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 09:00

      @Squeegee really don't deny science. It started before Galileo! Or do you believe in a flat earth , help up by pillars , as describes in the Buy Bull ? Saying "Christians do not deny science" is like raping for virginity! Does that make sense ? If you don't "believe" everything in the Buy Bull you are not a TM xian , and don't really know your god. damn the man.

      paulmichael.keichel - 2012-06-13 09:02

      Squeegee - you're both right and wrong: Right that there's a huge logical jump; wrong about the burden of proof. As for 'disproving God' - considering his unfalsifiable characteristics, how exactly do you propose anyone to do so? Please disprove the Flying Spaghetti Monster and I will then use your method to disprove your God.

      Phillip - 2012-06-13 09:04

      How do you know that this will be the "empirical evidence we have been looking for"?

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-13 09:18

      @Unrest You do realize you just said the existence of a deity cannot be disproven?

      paulmichael.keichel - 2012-06-13 09:26

      With unfalsifiable characteristics? Yup - by definition.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-13 14:12

      So delusion, you know for a fact a deity, if it exists, only lives in your imagination? You know that for a fact? Really?

      paulmichael.keichel - 2012-06-14 01:33

      @SA: DB is referring to the rule that the person making a claim has the onus of proving it. I don't expect anyone to take my/DB's word on this reference, so, to all those who are interested, please google "Russel's Teapot" and "Carl Sagan - Dragon in Garage" (or something like that). If you read these and still don't see where you have (I think) gone wrong, then, perhaps, we are at the point where agreeing to disagree might make sense, yes?

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-14 10:21

      I was referring to "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-14 10:25

      If you believe, you believe, you do not know. If you know, you know, you do not believe. Just because you believe, does not mean you know. Just because you know, does not mean it is truth.

  • johanttblom - 2012-06-13 08:21

    Atheists and religious nutters are all the same it seems . The big bang and evolution can be incorporated into creationism . It is rather arbitrary....... But who am I kidding humans will be humans and seeing reason into someone elses theories instantly converts even the smartest minds to the level of neanderthals. Be it religious or not.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 09:06

      You can't use faerie tales in a science , faith is not evidence , or aren't you clear about that. If you believe creationism in the Buy Bull , you have to believe "all" other religious faerie tales as truth or you are being hypocritical. i.e. Hindi Gods , Muslim God etc. If Christianity was the "only" religion , fine , but how many are there and how many Gods has man created before and after jeebus ? If you think they can be incorporated , you are secretly a xian who believes in talking donkeys and snakes ? Do you really ? Damn the man.

      johanttblom - 2012-06-13 09:18

      Jody you're a perfect example . You scream fairy tails , name calling , and hypocrisy yet you fall into the same reductionist ideology of calling people who think differently to you dumb..... Hypocrisy much. The only difference between creationism and atheism ( yes those two are the true parts that should be compared ) is the fact that at the truly fundamental origin level of the universe and life the one believes in a reason for it all and the other infinite repeating chance . Neither can disprove the other and thus only fits to what makes a individual happy.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-13 09:22

      Damn the man... Again. I think I'll start ending every sentence with "atheist morons=theist morons Therefore: morons are morons."

      johanttblom - 2012-06-13 09:28

      @delusion not true . If a god created the universe that god would supersede the complexity of that universe yet the nature of the universe would be intrinsically be part of the nature of the god that created it . A infinitely powerful (read complex) god would create a almost infinitely complex universe and the workings of that god would be through the nature it created both scientifically explained and the as yet unexplained.

      Phillip - 2012-06-13 09:34

      Jody "You can't use faerie tales in a science , faith is not evidence" Jody I agree. The way I see it is a particle of infinite density exploded and hence the start of the universe. So If this is true 1) A particle of infinite density would also possess infinite gravity. The "spontaneous" explosion would have had to overcome the infinite gravity. Seems to contradict. 2) Please explain where an explosion has resulted in order? All explosions result in dis-order. Sounds like a "faerie tale" to me.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 09:54

      @johanttblom , "Jody you're a perfect example . You scream fairy tails , name calling , and hypocrisy yet you fall into the same reductionist ideology of calling people who think differently to you dumb..... " Where in my comment do I, "name calling" ? Faith is not evidence , that's all I said , and if you use faith , you need to include every single person with faith , not just creationism( Christianity). "The only difference between creationism and atheism ( yes those two are the true parts that should be compared ) is the fact that at the truly fundamental origin level of the universe and life the one believes in a reason for it all and the other infinite repeating chance . " Your wrong , atheism simple means , no superstition please , nothing more and creationism is based on superstition! See the difference ... "Neither can disprove the other and thus only fits to what makes a individual happy." By definition supernatural/faith disproves itself , I can have faith in the flying spaghetti monster , does it make him real ? And you said it what makes a individual happy ! You said nothing about what is actually real and right , just the way it makes you "Feel" ! Damn the man.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 09:55

      @SarcasticAgnostic funny how you exclude yourself from the equation ? Damn the man. Idjit

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 09:58

      @Philip "The way I see it is a particle of infinite density exploded and hence the start of the universe. So If this is true 1) A particle of infinite density would also possess infinite gravity. The "spontaneous" explosion would have had to overcome the infinite gravity. Seems to contradict. 2) Please explain where an explosion has resulted in order? All explosions result in dis-order. Sounds like a "faerie tale" to me." And talking donkeys makes sense to you does it ? Or everything created in 6 days , dinosaurs on noahs ark ? All plausible aren't they ? Tell me why do you pray to a god the forced woman to eat their children for disobedience ? Are you going to deny or justify ? Damn the man.

      Phillip - 2012-06-13 10:14

      Jody. I expected your attack and as usual you are unable to refute the problems with the big bang theory. So you change angle and attack things written in the Bible. Please quote the scripture where you claim God forced women to eat their children. Oh and please confirm that there are problems with the big bang theory or are you like all the other spineless afans that refuse to accept that scientific theories are flawed?

      danel.campbell - 2012-06-13 10:40

      Haha Johan maak jy nou weer oorlog ;) well said though :)

      Phillip - 2012-06-13 12:03

      Delusion buster please see my posting above at 09:34. There are problems.

      Aphrodite - 2012-06-13 12:11

      Jody, its FAIRY. NOT Faerie, as in where you live, you dumb poppie!!

      Chrysippus - 2012-06-13 12:19

      I think Jody Beggs lives in Faerie Glen.

      scott.kirby.752 - 2012-06-13 12:26

      My dear darling Phillip, please get your facts straight before using them to back up your belief system because when you don't you look like a tool. The "particle" you speak of is not part of the BB theory, scientists speak of a singularity, this point has no mass, no volume, no density and strangely no time either. This then expanded into the universe. And no I can't explain this any better because the worlds leading physicists can't even do that... yet As for this "explosion" producing order, well it simply didn't, stuff was thrown all over the place and over billions of years coalesced with the help of gravity to form our Universe as we see it. And since each force we have observed has a corresponding particle and anti-particle(eg:- electricity's particle is the electron and anti-particle is the proton)the scientists theorise that gravity's particle is the Higgs-Boson, the point of this article...

      Phillip - 2012-06-13 12:40

      Scott "And no I can't explain this any better because the worlds leading physicists can't even do that... yet" so you agree that you are asking me to believe is something that cannot be explained. You also state that nothing became something and then time started. Sounds very much like the account in Genesis to me.

      scott.kirby.752 - 2012-06-13 13:01

      @Phillip, if you believe it is in keeping with the account in Genesis then that is your belief, however I believe we just haven't worked out what happened yet, I was not commenting on your belief system just correcting your understanding of the BBT. Let religion explain why, the scientists can explain how and we can all be happy...

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-13 14:16

      It's not my fault you think there are only atheists and theists in this world. Sorry for not fitting into preconceived categories. Morons are morons. Atheist or theist matters not.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 15:49

      Ezekiel 5:10 ESV Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers. And I will execute judgments on you, and any of you who survive I will scatter to all the winds. Leviticus 26:29 ESV You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. Jeremiah 19:9 ESV And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.’ Lamentations 4:10 ESV The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became their food during the destruction of the daughter of my people. 2 Kings 6:28 ESV And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ Do you need more ? Damn the man.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 15:51

      And about the faerie spelling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy idjits. Closed minds are needed for religion , open minds are strictly for science.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 15:52

      It seems the religious are being backed into a corner. Sticks and stones dorks.. Damn the man

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-14 08:18

      @Phillip @Chrysippus @Aphrodite Still waiting for you to comment , or can't you actually describe why you pray to a god that forces his own people into cannibalism ? No retorts about my spelling either , funny that , I must have been right after all! Blind faith is a sin and believing like a child will only get you treated like one... Damn the man.

      brian.m.wilson3 - 2012-07-02 15:35

      @Jody. Faerie is good.It is the old english spelling and quite acceptable.

  • fredster.mania.5 - 2012-06-13 08:27

    Keep on looking...

      jman.man.71 - 2012-06-13 08:48

      Ditto.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-13 09:24

      Keep on hanging onto your delusion.

  • johleneh - 2012-06-13 08:36

    @Johanttblom the most intelligent, open minded, INclusive statement I have ever come to read regarding science vs religion... Thank goodness there is some intelligent life left on this planet... Religion without science is blind and science without religion is lame... Albert Einstein

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 09:25

      Religion is based on faith , science is based on facts ! Do you believe or do you know ? (The basic difference) Damn the man.

      danel.campbell - 2012-06-13 10:36

      @Jody... Faith creates fact... Just think about it for a bit... You have to believe before you can know...

      TheGoat - 2012-06-13 12:34

      Umm no, here is an actual quote from Einstein on religion. "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." Letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, January 3, 1954

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-13 15:55

      @danel.campbell. Don't confuse believe with inquisitiveness ? Big difference , believe is for the unseen !

      danel.campbell - 2012-06-13 16:38

      Can't talk to someone who can't spell fairy right or says that \believe is for the unseen\ jody I believe you mean belief is for the unseen and that's the point particles cannot be seen, science is mainly about that which is unseen... Do u have any idea how your body actually works or do u believe and have faith that it will work right... The point is you can't have one without the other just like the great mind of Albert Einstein said and I believe that he was one of the greatest minds of science which lead to many facts on which your argument rests... Without him having faith in himself and what he believes in science would not have progressed as far as it has...

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-14 09:05

      @danel.campbell Its called an education , care to get one ? Damn the man. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-14 09:09

      @danel.campbell belief is only needs for the religiously retarded. "The point is you can't have one without the other just like the great mind of Albert Einstein said and I believe that he was one of the greatest minds of science which lead to many facts on which your argument rests... Without him having faith in himself and what he believes in science would not have progressed as far as it has..." At no point did Einstein pray to Jeebus for help in understanding what he knew , he never had "faith" , faith is for people who try to know without looking at any facts ? Like you ! If the only truth for you is the Buy Bull , then please tell me what its like to pray to a the god of cannibalism ? Damn the man.

  • ben.louw.5 - 2012-06-13 08:41

    Cool. Will be interesting. Urgh..not looking forward to the inevitable comment war.....

      ben.louw.5 - 2012-06-13 13:56

      Only cowards thumbs down without a explanation...

  • rscoetzee - 2012-06-13 08:46

    This particle has nothing to do with determining whether a creator or God, exists as such. It is a particle that supposedly 'gives' or is the origin of other particles mass. The only reason it is called 'God' particle is because it is elusive..apparently everywhere, but still hasnt been found. everywhere, but nowhere!

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-13 09:24

      It's so elusive that, even knowing in which energy range it must be, they haven't found it in the 30years looking for it.

      allan.m.levitt - 2012-06-13 09:47

      The 'G-d'particle may be closer to the truth. Maybe it was the catalyst that started the creation. However after the Big Bang it needed a higher intellegence to mantle the Mecano Set of 'Evolution' and life as it is today. Thus G-d does exist!

      Zing - 2012-06-13 10:05

      erm . . no, they wanted to call it the "Goddamn" particle because it's so elusive. "God" particle just stuck because some people found "Goddamn" offensive. If it's found it will prove that humans can create matter.

      Zing - 2012-06-13 10:07

      @sarcastic . . and they haven't found the holy grail in how many years? Rather chalk that one up as not to be found ;)

      scott.kirby.752 - 2012-06-13 12:31

      @SarcasticAgnostic, the only reason they haven't found it yet is because they didn't have anything powerful enough to smash atoms into small enough bits to see it, hence they built the LHC which can reach the required energies... And in less than a year they have already seen signs of it, although not confirmed yet this is a big step...

  • mike.onuka - 2012-06-13 09:00

    These experiments can be the cause for the end of the world and start of new galaxy. So please stop these experiments. Have you heard a Indian story of three Brahmins and a fool experimenting with the tigers dead body.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-13 09:26

      In the words of Raj Cuthropolly (Big Bang theory): "What a bunch of crybabies."

      Phae - 2012-06-13 10:39

      If the LHC was the cause of a new galaxy then the scientists would be its creator, its God! Makes you wonder just how cleaver and caring your God is.

      Thermophage - 2012-06-13 13:26

      lol...really. What are you, a sangoma?

  • arunava.mukerji1 - 2012-06-13 09:00

    The so called God particle as the Higgs Boson particle is popularly known as , is as elusive as God Himself , which is beyond all material search and research . Therefore it is sheer waste of money to chase a particle just to establish a theory . As per Hindu scriptures this world is not really real though it has some limited existence , and hence the fallacy of creation can never be solved fully , as there is a lot of spirituality into it , whereas physics is bound only by material laws and cannot enter the world of spirits, which is characterised by consciousness . So long as Physics will not recognise consciousness as a seperate entity , and not a function of material transformation , further progress of physics in regards to creation of the universe is sealed and no further progress is possible . Rest is scientific hoax .

  • Peter - 2012-06-13 09:08

    Why are these people wasting money to look for something that simply isn't there? Big bang partical.... What a waste of intellectual capacity.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-13 09:30

      "But...but there is a massive gap in the highrachy of energies. It must be there...*sniff*" Lol

      jman.man.71 - 2012-06-13 09:48

      "that simply isn't there" - Wow get a look at the all-knowing EXPERT! Nobel Prize should be yours then?

      Phae - 2012-06-13 10:44

      Just as well people like you don't have any say in scientific fields. However, your honorary life time Flat Earth membership is in the post.

  • kosmonooit - 2012-06-13 09:14

    The mind boggles ... there is a good BBC doc on it: "The Hunt for Higgs"

  • dewalds3 - 2012-06-13 09:34

    Matter is made up of waves. There is no 'smallest' particle.

      Thermophage - 2012-06-13 13:28

      You're talking string theory? If so then you get a thumbs up and we get to slap everyone else who gave you thumbs down :P

  • zane.zeiler - 2012-06-13 09:35

    Here, for all the "platkoppe" http://vimeo.com/41038445

  • paul.hemming.39 - 2012-06-13 09:47

    The discovery of the "God particle" proves the universe began with a Big Bang. If the universe had a beginning, something must have brought it into being. Nothingness cannot cause itself- that's totally illogical. There had to be an external cause to bring the universe into being. Something outside of time and space. I call that something ... God!

      Phae - 2012-06-13 10:32

      And this God is ruler over us? Cares what we do and say? Needs to be worshipped? Science will not stop here, discovery of the Higgs boson will be just another step on the way to discovering what came before it. There is no attachment to an outcome in true science. In the unlikely and almost impossible event of science discovering a being responsible for this very long, long, long chain of events, I'm sure they will find it. One thing's for sure it will never, ever be named God. That's the name people have made up in the name of religion. It's past time religion stopped thinking and teaching another incredible Earth can just be whipped up by this God. It is precious beyond imagination, and we are destroying it out of arrogance in believing it was created for us.

      Tommy - 2012-06-13 12:13

      It proves a theory, nothing more.

      scott.kirby.752 - 2012-06-13 12:39

      "The discovery of the "God particle" proves the universe began with a Big Bang", right a couple of things here, The Higgs particle has got sweet f-all to do with the BB it is simply the particle that scientists believe gives other particles mass and hence produces gravity which caused matter to coalesce forming the universe we see today. And secondly only the media and jumped up religiots call it the "God Particle" to work people into a state of apoplectic rage...

      Thermophage - 2012-06-13 13:30

      And people who ask questions and don't guess at things call it M Theory.

      Thermophage - 2012-06-13 13:30

      @tommy.jones.754918 : Um...if it PROVES a theory, then the thing it proved is no longer a theory ...

      paul.hemming.39 - 2012-06-13 16:19

      @DelusionBuster My logic is consistent because, as I said, the cause must be outside of time and space. This is because the law of conservation of energy/matter only applies within the universe. The Big Bang theory's proposed solution of the singularity simply doesn't work, as it is a supposed point of incredibly dense energy/matter. Therefore it was already part of the universe, and subject to the law of conservation of energy/matter itself. God on the other hand is outside of time (eternal) and space (spirit). Thus God is not bound by the law of conservation of energy/matter. Rather, He designed it.

  • Phae - 2012-06-13 09:55

    Incredible news, brilliant minds. Lets look after this planet, it's truly a rare and precious thing.

  • Peter - 2012-06-13 12:14

    IF, big if..... They discover this big bang particle today, some other scientist in 50 years time will somehow prove that the assumptions made today was wrong and that the particle collider size was not sufficient. Many assumptions go into these types of research. Its all chasing after wind. Discovering the big bang particle wont enhance human existance.

      TheGoat - 2012-06-13 12:43

      Sorry? Won't enhance human existence? One of the greatest most significant discoveries in the history of humanity and it wont enhance our existence? Sure like ... electricity...or germ theory and antibiotics.... Your really trying to say that improving our understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe and existence is useless?? Rather put your head back in the sand and dont worry about anything. The rest of us will take humanity forward, you can just sit in a corner

  • TheMonk - 2012-06-13 15:32

    I thought I made a mistake, but I was wrong.

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