10 Years of “God Particles” and the Limits of CERN

FifthTen years ago, physicists were able to celebrate a scientific breakthrough. On July 4, 2012, in the crowded auditorium in Geneva CERN Research Center for the discovery of the so-called Higgs particle.

Thousands of interested people around the world followed the speakers about the experiences via video conferencing atlas And the CMSby which the hypothesized existence of the particle can be proven for decades independently of each other.

It is also possible that the great public interest in this fundamental research in physics has to do with the fact that the Higgs particle was often referred to as the “God particle”. This common term goes to physicist Leon Max Lederman Again, who wrote a book on the “dreaded particle”.

Why did the Higgs become a God particle?

He was using it to describe his “vile nature and the inconvenience it causes”. And experiments to search for the Higgs particle in the world’s largest particle accelerator, which is LHC (“Large Hadron Collider”) was very complex indeed.

Fabiola Gianotti from the Atlas Experience and Joe Incandella from the CMS Experience on July 4, 2012 at CERN.

Source: Photo Alliance / d

Then the publisher of Lederman’s book shortened the term to “God particle.” Although the Higgs particle is of great importance to the theoretical structure of physics, it has nothing to do with any religious or spiritual things, as God knows.

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god of particles

On June 30, 2022, physicists will celebrate the 10th birthday of the Higgs particle with a scientific symposium at CERN – just as physicists do. It will be less about looking back and more about looking forward.

Where is supersymmetry?

There is also the troubling question of whether objects of great scientific interest can still be discovered using the LHC. In any case, there have been no groundbreaking discoveries in the LHC since the explosion in 2012.

In particular, he did not succeed – and this was the great hope of many physicists – proof of the theory Supersymmetry to exist. It would be a conceivable extension of the previous one Standard Form In particle physics, it is obvious that the whole reality can not be described. It has a blind spot for gravity and mysterious dark matter.

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Muon g-2 particle storage ring in the MC-1 / Fermilab building

The 27-kilometer loop of the LHC’s particle accelerator, and thus the achievable energy with which particles are fired at each other, may be too small to gain new scientific knowledge at this point.

Then this field of research died

The LHC’s first operational phase was from 2010 to 2013 and the second from 2015 to 2018. Its third, three-year measurement campaign will begin this year. Either way, it will be an exciting time for researchers and physicist Juan Collid Von University of Chicago In short: “If nothing is found in these three years, this area of ​​research is dead.”

In light of the significant financial challenges European countries are currently facing, it will be doubtful, even if there is another scientific success, whether the funds will be made available to build the next, and largest, particle accelerator.

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Meanwhile, there are ambitious plans in China, where the goal is to build the world’s largest particle accelerator. It should have a circumference of 100 km and be able to generate correspondingly higher energy. It is therefore possible that new physics that goes beyond the Standard Model will be discovered in the Far East rather than in Europe.

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