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Science

Years After Shutting Down, Tevatron Reveals Properties of Higgs Boson 73

sciencehabit writes: A U.S. atom smasher has made an important scientific contribution 3.5 years after it shut down. Scientists are reporting that the Tevatron collider in Batavia, Illinois, has provided new details about the nature of the famed Higgs boson — the particle that's key to physicists' explanation of how other fundamental particles get their mass and the piece in a theory called the standard model. The new result bolsters the case that the Higgs, which was discovered at a different atom smasher, exactly fits the standard model predictions.
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Years After Shutting Down, Tevatron Reveals Properties of Higgs Boson

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 07, 2015 @09:10PM (#49426433)
    In a way it would have been more interesting if the Higgs didn't fit our expectations.
    • finding out our ideas are completely wrong isn't "interesting", it's a setback.

      considering it's a complex set of ideas that potentially describe how the entire universe and everything in it works, isn't "incomplete" or "unfinished" is about the best we can shoot for at this point

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 07, 2015 @10:09PM (#49426651)

        Scientific setbacks is what allow us to advance scientifically.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        finding out our ideas are completely wrong isn't "interesting", it's a setback.

        Not when all our ideas lead to dead-ends in terms of new effects to exploit.

        • The Universe is not an iGadget -- we don't need the new shiny to replace the old just to get new features. So get past your short sighted grasp of existence and learn to realize that by fully understanding something, we can set ourselves to better exploiting it instead of wasting energy looking for things that don't exist. And it's not like we are anywhere near having a complete understanding of the universe or it's composition. So anything we can lock down is a major step forward regardless of how "revolut
      • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2015 @02:05AM (#49427283) Homepage
        I would rather disagree. I remember an interview with one of the leading physicists of CERN before the LHC was started, and he said that in some way he hopes that the Standard Model would prove to be incomplete and the Hiiggs Boson either doesn't exists or has different properties than the Standard Model predicts, because it would open a lot of new research into alternative hypotheses around a potential Grand Unified Theory.

        So the results are disappointing in a way, as the most boring of all alternative explanations seems to be true.

        • by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2015 @09:43AM (#49428613) Homepage

          > the Hiiggs Boson either doesn't exists or has different properties than the Standard Model predicts

          Well he got his wish, in a way.

          The SM doesn't predict any particular mass for the Higgs. It doesn't predict masses at all, except in the way that it defines relative masses, sort of. So if the mass of particle A is 1 then B has to be at least 2 for the theory to work, but it doesn't say that A has to be 1, and if it's 0.5 then B can be 1. A number of new theories do predict masses directly, or have relative masses like the SM, but require those relative masses to be different.

          Right now the entire field is basically up in the air over how to continue development, whether that be supersymmetry or multiple dimensions. They both require different Higgs mass, one around (going completely on memory here) 114 GeV and the other a little less than 140.

          Atlas and CMS both put the mass around 125, which means both are wrong. This is a good thing, because both systems stink.

      • finding out our ideas are completely wrong isn't "interesting", it's a setback.

        considering it's a complex set of ideas that potentially describe how the entire universe and everything in it works, isn't "incomplete" or "unfinished" is about the best we can shoot for at this point

        I'll just leave this Asimov quote here:

        The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ...'

      • Finding out the truth is never a setback in science. It is always an accomplishment. While it may sometimes feel like a setback to find out you were wrong, the real setback would have been heading down the wrong path longer than necessary. Think of the lost opportunity cost in potential discoveries that could have been made sooner with a more accurate picture of the world.

  • we need more money to build a bigger one in the states now!! give us funding!!!!
  • Yea FermiLab! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 07, 2015 @10:01PM (#49426611)

    My wife is a staff physicist at Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. They collected so many exabytes of data from the Tevatron before it was shut down and superseded by the LHC at Cern, that physicists will be spending many more years analyzing the data. Many PhD theses and major discoveries will likely come out of that mass of data. The work that is going on at Fermi now will likely be similarly important. I can only think of one other neutrino experiment that can duplicate (maybe) what they are doing at FermiLab now. For more really interesting information about what they are doing there, go to www.fnal.gov.
     

  • Isn't that still too high of an energy level for string theory to be pursued any longer?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 07, 2015 @10:41PM (#49426777)

    The submitter funnily avoids naming the largest and most complex instrument ever built by man, the European Large Hadron Collider, by casually downplaying and referring to it as "a different atom smasher". Methinks the submitter is an envious American.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, he's being clever and helpful: he doesn't want American birds to know where the LHC is so they can't go there and drop bread on it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The submitter merely quoted text from the article. They didn't change anything to slight the LHC.

    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2015 @01:06AM (#49427147)

      The submitter funnily avoids naming the largest and most complex instrument ever built by man, the European Large Hadron Collider, by casually downplaying and referring to it as "a different atom smasher". Methinks the submitter is an envious American.

      While EU countries contributed the bulk of the resources, personnel, and location of course, the US also contributed over half a billion dollars of the estimated $6.4 billion (€4.6 billion) total cost, technical and scientific contributions, and more than a few personnel. It was and still is a massive international effort, with scientists and engineers from 100 different countries contributing.

      As a US citizen, I was actually quite proud of *humanity* for creating such an amazing device, all for the purpose of advancing our scientific understanding. What's there to be envious of? I think it's fantastic. No one but you seems intent on turning it into an international pissing match.

    • Two short paragraphs later, the writer explains both in more detail. I doubt it was an issue of envy, but sticking to standard writing conventions (start broad, dive into details, wrap up).

      And it's called the Large Hadron Collider, not the "European Large Hadron Collider". A lot of countries outside of Europe helped build it.
  • Don't forget that Fermilab has a music video, Particle Business! https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

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