The Higgs hunt could be over.

Higgs 3 of 3 - Comment on 2012 July 3 (3)

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2012 July 3 (3)

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Cern announcement: after 50 years, the Higgs hunt could be over. Read more:

Here excerpts of the third of three reports about the Higgs particle:

 

Cern announcement: after 50 years, the Higgs hunt could be over

Tomorrow could see one of the most anticipated moments in the history of modern science. In a packed auditorium, scientists at Cern, the European nuclear research institute which operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), will reveal the latest findings in their hunt for the Higgs boson.

Professor Sergio Bertolucci, Cern’s chief scientist, says that any announcement tomorrow will mark the beginning of an intellectual adventure, not the end: “The important message is this: [if the signals are real] we won’t know if it is the Higgs, only that it is an indication of a new state that looks like the Higgs. So, this won’t mark the end of a chapter but the beginning of another exciting one. For example, if we are looking for a dog and we find one that meows, that’s not one discovery but two. If it’s something other than the Higgs, or if there’s no Higgs, then that is a win-win because we are into the realm of new physics.”

Indeed, some scientists believe the Higgs might be a portal to a surreal kingdom where exotic quantum phenomena such as supersymmetry operate. Elucidating these exotic phenomena may well be the next major task in physics, because they plug irritating conceptual holes in the Standard Model.

As Kibble says: “There are things the Standard Model doesn’t explain, like gravity and dark matter (the estimated 96 per cent of the Universe’s mass which is invisible). In some ways the model is a bit of a mess.” Supersymmetry, which he has worked on, theorises the existence of a whole new class of unseen “super-particles”, which might be the secret of dark matter.

 

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