CERN’s July 4 announcement that the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider have discovered a particle “consistent with the Higgs boson” has raised questions about what scientists have found and what still remains to be found – and what it all means.
An example of simulated data modeled for the CMS particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Here, following a collision of two protons, a Higgs boson is produced which decays into two jets of hadrons and two electrons. The lines represent the possible paths of particles produced by the proton-proton collision in the detector while the energy these particles deposit is shown in blue. Image credit: Lucas Taylor/CERN
Ian Hinchliffe is a theoretical physicist who heads Berkeley Lab’s sizable contingent with the ATLAS experiment at CERN. Before CERN’s announcement he invited viewers to send him their questions about the Higgs via email, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube. Now he’s answered many of those questions in this video.
The Higgs boson is the carrier of the Higgs field, which in the first moments after the Big Bang was responsible for determining the masses of quarks, electrons, and eventually all the other massive particles of matter and force that exist in the universe around us today. If the new particle is actually the Higgs, as it seems to be, its discovery marks the final key element of the Standard Model of Particles and Interactions and the beginning of explorations in new physics.
Many questions to Hinchliffe were similar and some were unique. Watch to see what people asked and to hear Hinchliffe’s answers.
In this video Ian Hinchliffe answers questions about the Higgs boson. Credit: BerkeleyLab
Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)