Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Rice physicists help discover new particle that may be Higgs - Expert: ‘We've found a body, but we need to wait for the DNA results to declare it the Higgs’

Muon Port Cards designed and built at Rice act as information funnels at the LHC, where they take in and sort 25 gigabits of data per second to generate an output of 3 gigabits.
CREDIT: Rice University
Muon Port Cards designed and built at Rice act as information funnels at the LHC, where they take in and sort 25 gigabits of data per second to generate an output of 3 gigabits.

CREDIT: Rice University

Abstract:
Rice University physicists participating in the search for the elusive Higgs particle joined their colleagues at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) today in announcing the observation of a never-before-seen particle. The particle may turn out to be the Higgs boson or something new and equally important.

Rice physicists help discover new particle that may be Higgs - Expert: ‘We've found a body, but we need to wait for the DNA results to declare it the Higgs’

Houston, TX | Posted on July 4th, 2012

The search for the Higgs particle is at the heart of the most expensive science project in history -- CERN's $6 billion Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In an announcement today, LHC officials in Geneva, Switzerland, stopped short of declaring a victory in the Higgs search, saying instead that they have found a new particle with properties that make it a likely match for the supermassive Higgs particle.

"To use an analogy from CSI: We've found a body, but we need to wait for the DNA results to declare it the Higgs," said Rice particle physicist Paul Padley, a co-investigator on the LHC Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment. "We're not calling this the Higgs for the same reason the police don't guess about the identity of a body. It's our responsibility to be sure."

The search for the Higgs particle marks a historic turning point in physics: The particle is the final unobserved piece of a puzzle called the Standard Model (SM), a model which jibes with every particle physics experiment ever performed. The Higgs, a type of particle known as a boson (pronounced "BOH-sahn"), is one of the linchpins of the SM.

"In our current understanding, all of the fundamental particles of nature get their mass through the Higgs mechanism," said Frank Geurts, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Rice and a co-investigator on the CMS experiment. "So, if we don't find the Higgs particle -- if that's not there -- then we seriously have to rethink why we exist at all."

Padley, who returned to Rice from the LHC near Geneva late last week, said the search for the Higgs at LHC is one of the greatest endeavors in human history. "There are multiple experiments at LHC, and on the CMS experiment alone there are more than 3,000 scientists from 179 institutions in 41 countries. The experiment recreates conditions that existed in the first billionth of a second after the Big Bang."

In addition to Padley and Geurts, Rice Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty co-investigators at LHC include Professor Jay Roberts, Assistant Professor Karl Ecklund and Assistant Professor Wei Li. More than two dozen Rice staff and students have also worked on the 13,000-ton CMS detector. For example, Rice physicists played a key role developing some of the electronic systems that sort CMS data in real time and select what to keep for future analysis. That's no simple task because the CMS experiment produces 40 terabytes of data -- enough to fill more than 8,500 DVD discs -- each second. And a single run of the machine can last for weeks or even months.

Rice personnel also contributed to the CMS pixel detector, which is like a 66-megapixel camera that snaps a photo 40 million times per second. Located just 4 centimeters from the head-on proton collisions in the LHC, the pixel detector records the trajectories of hundreds of particles that are produced in the collisions, and it helps sort through the debris of the collisions so that CMS physicists can reconstruct which particles are produced in any given collision.

Rice faculty, engineers, postdocs and students helped build and maintain some of the electronics that mine collision data in real time and flag collisions, which are often referred to as "events," that should be saved for future analysis. These stored events provided the data that scientists needed to confirm today's announcement about the likely candidate for the Higgs particle.

"The science unveiled today could not have happened without Rice's hardware and software as well as hundreds of other critical components that were conceived and created at universities and national laboratories the world over," said Ecklund, who is at CERN for today's announcement.

Ecklund, Geurts and Padley, who have each devoted many years to the search for the Higgs boson, say the only prospect more exciting than finding the long-anticipated Higgs is finding something completely unexpected.

"When I was a physics undergraduate, we were taught that the expansion of the universe was slowing," Padley said. "Whether or not the universe would one day collapse upon itself was an open question, and the Hubble Space Telescope was launched, in part, to answer that question.

"What the Hubble found was utterly shocking," Padley said. "The Hubble found the universe was expanding faster and faster every second. It was completely new and totally unexpected knowledge, and that is exactly the sort of unpredictable discovery we expect to find with the LHC once it ramps up to full power."

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is known for its "unconventional wisdom." With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for "best value" among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth
713-348-6327


Jade Boyd
713-348-6778

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Physics

New exotic phenomena seen in photonic crystals: Researchers observe, for the first time, topological effects unique to an “open” system January 12th, 2018

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti Develops World’s First Micro-Coolers for CERN Particle Detectors: Leti Design, Fabrication and Packaging Expertise Extends to Very Large Scientific Instruments December 11th, 2017

Inorganic-organic halide perovskites for new photovoltaic technology November 6th, 2017

Discoveries

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Nanowrinkles could save billions in shipping and aquaculture Surfaces inspired by carnivorous plants delay degradation by marine fouling January 17th, 2018

Ultrathin black phosphorus for solar-driven hydrogen economy: Osaka University researchers use sunlight to make hydrogen with a new nanostructured catalyst based on nanosheets of black phosphorus and bismuth vanadate January 17th, 2018

Announcements

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project