SA prof worked on finding Higgs particle

2012-07-05 07:26
This image shows a typical candidate event including two high-energy photons whose energy (depicted by red towers) is measured in the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter. (Cern, AP)

This image shows a typical candidate event including two high-energy photons whose energy (depicted by red towers) is measured in the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter. (Cern, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Six South African universities, under the SA-Cern programme, played a key role in the observation the Higgs-like particle announced at the Cern facility in Geneva.

University of Johannesburg (UJ), contributed directly to one of the "channels" leading to the discovery of the Higgs-like particle.

UJ's Professor Simon Connell formed part of the group which worked on the "Higgs to four-lepton". The Higgs emerges as a result of protons smashing into each other at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern or European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

"The LHC smashes protons together with an energy density which is 100 000 times greater than the centre of the sun. This produces many particles with great multiplicity where finding the Higgs is like searching for a needle in a haystack," he told News24.

Connell said that soon after the collision the Higgs potentially decays into four-lepton particles which constituted the focus of his group's research.

South Africa's involvement in the Cern programme will lead to a variety of spinoffs for the country as a whole.

"Considering that the internet was a development that arose from Cern, South Africa has already begun incorporating a next generation computing grid being used at the facility," Connell said.

The new era of high performance computing is revolutionising medical research and hospital diagnostic technology.

Discovery


Two independent research groups, CMS and Atlas, seek to discover the Higgs boson. On Wednesday the CMS team announced 4.9 "sigma rating" of certainty while Atlas reported five-sigma.

According to the rating system, five-sigma is required to claim that a discovery has less than one in a million chance of being a fluke.

"As a layman I would say I think we have it," the Guardian quoted the Cern's director general, Rolf Dieter Heuer, as saying.

Official verification of the particle may take some time, but scientists are unanimous in their acceptance of a newly discovered particle.

Importance

Physicists say the discovery of the Higgs boson will either complete the 48-year-old Standard Model or herald a new era in the field of particle physics.

The Higgs boson is presumed to be the smallest particle making up the Higgs field, an energy field present throughout the universe.

It is this field which interacts with every particle in the universe including planets and stars to give it mass.


- Follow Dane on Twitter

Read more on:    wits  |  cern  |  science  |  good news
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.