Well, whatever it is, it’s big. The rumors among physics have reached a frenzy state in the past few days, the Scientific American reports. The speculations are related to tomorrow’s announcement in Geneva by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and claims that the Large Hadron Collider is planning to release a tantalizing – although not conclusive – evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, the elementary particle hypothesized to be the origin of the mass of all matter.
“Whatever happens eventually with the Higgs, I think we’ll look back on this meeting and say, “This was the beginning of something.'”
Many physicists have already swung into action, swapping rumors about the contents of the announcement and proposing grand ideas about what those rumors would mean, if true. “It’s impossible to be excited enough,” says Gordon Kane, a theoretical physicist at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
The spokespeople of the collaborations using the cathedral-size ATLAS and CMS detectors to search for the Higgs boson and other phenomena at the 27-kilometer-circumference proton accelerator of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are scheduled to present updates tomorrow based on analyses of the data collected to date.
“There won’t be a discovery announcement, but it does promise to be interesting,” says James Gillies, spokesperson for CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), which hosts the LHC.
Joe Lykken, a theoretical physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., and a member of the CMS collaboration, says, “Whatever happens eventually with the Higgs, I think we’ll look back on this meeting and say, ‘This was the beginning of something.'”
(As a CMS member, Lykken says he is not yet sure himself what results ATLAS would unveil; he is bound by his collaboration’s rules not to reveal what CMS has in hand.)
(Click here for a lightly edited partial transcript of the interview with Lykken that Davide Castelvecchi conducted for this story.)
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- Has Higgs been discovered? Rumors of watershed news build (news.cnet.com)
- Higgs Boson: What is it, and why is everyone so excited about the ‘God Particle?’ (news.nationalpost.com)
- CERN to announce Higgs boson observation at LHC (extremetech.com)
- Higgs Boson May Have Been Glimpsed At Large Hadron Collider (inquisitr.com)
- Where’s My Higgs? LHC Physicist Joe Lykken Speaks (blogs.scientificamerican.com)
- Have scientists at the LHC found the Higgs or not? – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- Higgs boson sighting will open door to ‘New Physics’: CERN (news.nationalpost.com)
- Excitement over Higgs ‘evidence’ (bbc.co.uk)