Large Hadron Collider 'Being Sabotaged from the Future'
Scientists claim the giant atom-smashing Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is being jinxed from the future to save the world.
In a bizarre sci-fi theory, Danish physicist Dr Holger Bech Nielsen and Dr Masao Ninomiya from Japan claim nature is trying to prevent the LHC from finding the elusive Higgs boson. Called the "God particle," the theoretical boson could explain the origins of mass in the universe â€” if physicists can find the darn thing
Stop me if you've heard this one: how many scientists does it take to author a study on the Higgs boson particle? Around 6,000.
Two articles by the teams at CERN, about 30 pages each, include 19 pages of single-spaced text with roughly 6,000 names of researchers who peer-reviewed the results of the experiments, making the discovery of the elusive God particle valid.
The papers conclude there is a one-in-300-million chance that the Higgs does not exist, thereby validating the theory on why elementary particles have mass.
Particle physicist Peter Higgs first predicted the particle in 1964. So you might say the 48-year hunt for the God particle reached biblical proportions.
For the non-scientists who wonder what a Higgs boson is, distilled explanations from a number of physicists, including Paul Padley of Rice University, part of one of the discovery teams:
Q: So what is a Higgs boson?
A: A tiny subatomic particle that apparently weighs about 130 times as much as an atom of hydrogen, the lightest gas.
Q: What does it do?
A: Simply put, the Higgs particle interacts with other subatomic particles that are building blocks of atoms in a way that slows them down. It's the reason that matter in the universe has mass. Mass gives the particles inertia, or resistance to being moved faster.
Q: What is a simple analogy that describes this effect?
A: Compare Higgs bosons to groupies mobbing a celebrity. The other particles are the celebrities, desperately trying to move but slowed by autograph-seekers. Higgs bosons don't have pens, but the attention they give to the other particles slows them, creating inertia.
Q: Why did physicists think this likely had to exist?
A: Physicists look to particles to explain forces in the universe. In the physicists' theories, electromagnetic and nuclear forces don't need particles with mass to work. But the particles do have mass, so we need an explanation for why. In 1964, Peter Higgs of Scotland's University of Edinburgh and other physicists theorized the Higgs boson was the culprit.
Q: How did they make this discovery?
Essentially, two teams collected data in separate experiments that smashed together millions of subatomic particles called protons to see what pieces emerged from the smash-ups. The particle reported on Wednesday fell to pieces in ways predicted by Higgs and other physicists.
Q: How sure are they that this is the Higgs boson?
A: CERN chief Rolf Heuer calls it "a particle consistent with the Higgs boson." CERN assigned about a 0.000057% statistical chance of the particle detection being wrong.
It might take 50 years for anyone to do anything useful with a standard model that includes Higgs-Boson and the alternatives. Also probably successful was the quark-gluon experiment where they created (probably) a new state of mass that is (probably) like matter would have been at the instant of the big bang.