Science News

Higgs boson and US Tevatron facility data.

Scientists from the US Tevatron accelerator say they have spotted possible hints of the Higgs boson at a mass similar to that seen at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). The Higgs boson is named after Peter Higgs, an Edinburgh University Physicist. After the Big Bang, it is thought that there were many particles without mass but the Higgs field, upon interaction, gave the particles mass and they became heavy. The Higgs boson is the signature particle of the field.

Tevatron was shut down in 2011 after talks to extend funding failed. However, there is still a large amount of data that needs to be analysed. Fresh data shows the existence of a particle between 115 and 135 gigaelectronvolts  with a certainty of about 2.2 sigma. The significance of this is that the LHC has found a similar “bump” at around the same mass in their data. The LHC collides protons together, while the Tevatron used protons and their antimatter counterpart, antiprotons. Both experiments hunt for the Higgs by looking at what those high-energy particles decay into.

What could this mean?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17269647

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/dec/13/higgs-boson-lhc-explained

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