UCSB Physics Professor Incandela to Present Higgs Boson News
July 3, 2012
Scientists around the world await an announcement from CERN on July 4, 2012 about the discovery of the Higgs boson particle. UCSB physics professor Joe Incandela, spokesperson for the Compact Muon Solemoid (CMS) experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), will be presenting the status of the Higgs boson search along with Fabiola Gianotti, an Italian physicist heading CERN's ATLAS experiement.
In what some call one of the most significant discoveries of our time, the expected news is that scientists have found the "footprint and shadow" of the Higgs boson particle -- evidence that it exists if not definitive proof. The search for the Higgs boson has spanned decades of work by thousands of scientists using sophisticated particle accelerators, such as the now-closed Tevatron at Fermilab in Illinois and the LHC at CERN.
The $10 billion LHC at CERN is the largest particle accelerator in the world. It works by circulating two beams of hadrons, or subatomic particles, in opposite directions around a circular accelerator 100m underground, creating massive particle collisions that mimic theorized conditions following the Big Bang. Immense amounts of data from the resulting collisions is recorded and analyzed by scientists. The Higgs boson is important because it could help scientists understand the mysteries of why subatomic particles have mass and how they were formed, underlying the concepts of mass and gravity.
Video: How does the Large Hadron Collider work? Watch this video from DiscoveryNews.com.
The Higgs boson particle is named for Peter Higgs, one of the theorists who predicted the particle's existence 50 years ago as part of the explanation for why most of the fundamental particles of matter, such as the electron, have mass.
Incandela is the first U.S. scientist to be elected spokesperson for an experiment at the LHC. The UCSB High Energy Physics group has a large effort on the CMS experiment, involving some 30 faculty, engineers, and students, including postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate.
The announcement is set to air live via webcast on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, at 9:00am Europe/Zurich time. Watch the webcast live at http://webcast.web.cern.ch/webcast/