CERN to reveal more about its hunt for Higgs boson particle on Wednesday

2 Jul 2012

Large Hadron Collider tunnel. Image courtesy of CERN

Has the elusive ‘God particle’ finally been found? Physicists around the globe are waiting for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to divulge its latest update regarding the hunt for the Higgs boson during a seminar on Wednesday morning.

Back in February, CERN announced it would be running the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) with a beam of energy of 4 TeV this year – 0.5 TeV higher than in 2010 and 2011.

The optimisation of the LHC was to determine whether the Higgs boson exists or not this year.

And, this Wednesday, CERN will be hosting the seminar at 9am CEST to give its latest update in the search for the Higgs boson in its LHC.

The CERN seminar will be hosted on the eve of this year’s particle physics conference, ICHEP.

CERN said physicists from around the world gathering in Melbourne, Australia, for the ICHEP conference will be able to join the seminar via a live two-way link.

Scientists involved in the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN will be delivering the preliminary results of their 2012 data analysis.

CERN’s director for Accelerators and Technology, Steve Myers, who hails from Belfast, confirmed that data taking for the ICHEP conference finished up on 18 June after what he termed a “very successful first period of LHC running” in 2012.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the data reveals,” said Myers.

In a statement, CERN director for Research and Computing, Sergio Bertolucci, said the organisation now has more than double the data it had last year.

“That should be enough to see whether the trends we were seeing in the 2011 data are still there, or whether they’ve gone away. It’s a very exciting time,” said Bertolucci.

According to CERN, if and when a new particle is discovered, ATLAS and CMS will need time to ascertain whether it is the Higgs boson, the last missing ingredient of the Standard Model of particle physics.

If it turns out not to be the Higgs boson, CERN said the scientists would need to assess if the particle is a more “exotic” form of the boson. If that’s the case, CERN said this could could open the door to new physics.

“It’s a bit like spotting a familiar face from afar,” said CERN director-general Rolf Heuer. He gave the following analogy: “sometimes you need closer inspection to find out whether it’s really your best friend, or actually your best friend’s twin.”

The seminar will be available via webcast at CERN on Wednesday, while physicists will also be giving more plain-language interpretations about the findings via blogs and chats from the webcast site.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic