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Thread: "The God Particle"

  1. #1

    "The God Particle",00.html

    Is this the answer to God, the universe and all that?

    Physicists plan £3bn experiment in a 20-mile long tunnel

    David Adam, science correspondent
    Saturday August 21, 2004
    The Guardian

    They call it the God particle: a mysterious sub-atomic fragment that permeates the entire universe and explains how everything is the way it is. Nobody has ever seen the God particle; some say it doesn't exist but, in the ultimate leap of faith, physicists across the world are preparing to build one of the most ambitious and expensive science experiments the world has ever seen to try to find it.

    At a summit meeting in Beijing yesterday, 12 experts from countries including Britain, Japan, America and Germany announced they have agreed on a blueprint for the new experiment - a gigantic atom smashing machine called the international linear collider. Now they must convince their respective governments to meet the anticipated £3bn price tag.

    Buried underground away from vibrations on the surface, the collider would accelerate particles from opposite ends of a 20-mile tunnel at near-light speeds and smash them into each other head-on. One stream of particles would be electrons; the other would be positrons, their antimatter partner.

    The scientists hope the resulting cataclysmic explosion of heat, light and radiation will recreate the conditions found in first few billionths of a second after the big bang. And when that happens, they hope the God particle, otherwise known as the Higgs boson, will show itself. The collider will not be built in Britain (Germany, America and Japan are favourites) but scientists here are determined to play a leading role in the project. British physicists have already been involved in planning a number of its key components and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), which pays for research in this field, is waiting to see if the government agrees a plan for Britain to invest some £300m in the experiment over the next decade. A decision is expected in the autumn.

    Ian Halliday, chief executive of PPARC said: "This is an extremely significant milestone. We now have a clear and defined route for the future that will enable the world's particle physics community to concentrate resources and unite efforts behind the design."

    Scientists have learned the hard way in recent years that such megaprojects are beyond the reach of individual countries. The US attempted to build its own linear collider in Texas in the early 1990s but the project collapsed amid spiralling costs, leaving them with a £1bn bill and only a hole in the ground to show for it.

    Dark energy

    If it gets built, the new machine could open the door to a shadowy new domain of physics. "The international linear collider will take our science into completely new areas," said Brian Foster at Oxford University. "It will hopefully reveal new and exciting physics, addressing the 21st century agenda of compelling questions about dark matter and dark energy, the existence of extra dimensions and the fundamental nature of matter, energy, space and time."

    Key to these discoveries is the Higgs boson particle, which scientists have been searching for since the British physicist Peter Higgs proposed it in the 1960s. The physicists want to find it because such a particle would plug a hole in a theory that is both their greatest triumph and their biggest headache.

    Just as chemists group the different elements according to their similarities in the periodic table, so physicists use something called the standard model to explain how various subatomic particles interact to make the universe tick. "Go back40 years and we were finding particles but we had no idea how they fitted to gether. We were discovering pieces of a jigsaw but we didn't have the picture on the front of the box," said George Kalmus at the Rutherford Appleton laboratory in Oxfordshire. "We now have a pretty good picture on the front of the box and that picture is called the standard model."

    But the standard model is now starting to show its age, and as physicists devise bigger and better experiments to test its theoretical predictions, they are coming across more and more anomalies.

    Chief among these is the discovery that even the tiniest, most fleeting particles have some mass - the standard model assumes that they don't. The Higgs particle offers physicists a way out: they think the Higgs somehow interacts with all other forms of matter to give them their mass, or in other words, to make them weigh anything. The idea is so appealing that they have already spent billions of pounds on a succession of more powerful accelerators to hunt it down.

    "We keep on looking for the Higgs boson and we keep on not finding it, but we now have an indication of where it is," said Professor Kalmus. He says existing accelerator machines, built in the shape of rings, just cannot get the particles travelling fast enough or to collide with enough force to reach the energy levels where the Higgs particle is believed to exist.

    Another accelerator, the large hadron collider, is already under construction at the Cern laboratory under the Swiss Alps and is due to be switched on in 2007. It could have the potential to find the Higgs particle, but will tell physicists little about its interactions. Prof Kalmus says studying it in more detail is crucial. "The world is running out of easily developed energy sources. If we can learn more about how energy and mass are related in this strange way then who knows what effect that might have."

  2. #2
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    The whole time I was reading this article I was thinking if it could solve our energy problems. There it is at the bottom, not promising, but it is something to hope for, clean, abundant, and cheap energy.

  3. #3

    "The God particle"

    Quote Originally Posted by SaveEurope
    The whole time I was reading this article I was thinking if it could solve our energy problems. There it is at the bottom, not promising, but it is something to hope for, clean, abundant, and cheap energy.
    Exactly! This is also why I have no respect for sub-atomic physics. After they build their latest super-particle accellerator, they will say they still need more information and need to build and even larger accellerator. This has been going on for 60 years. Has anything of practical value resulted? Well, the Germans leaned (from their secret particle accellearator buried deep at Jonastal where it still remains) that there is a better way to make weapons-grade nuclear material. Other than that, no.

    But, if Physics really wants to do something practical, such as solve the energy crisis, they will need to find their missing particle. Fortunately, they do not need an accellerator to do it. Machines have already been made and work and produce new energy using these particles. Use search words: Hans Coler; John Bedini for two machines. These particle are indeed god-particles. They are also gravity particles. They go by an ancient name, Aether. In fact, they are everywhere. They exert pressure on us from all sides just as if we were under water. Matter is the only thing which will absorb them, break them, and convert their energy into other forms of energy or matter. The machines mentioned do this. This is the only explanation for the way they work as conventional physics can not explain it--yet they produce energy. It is a new paradgym. This is not my theory. This idea was popularized by the late Dr. Hans Nieper in the 1980s.

    So, we can all go on "proving Einstein right" or we can do science and save ourselves at the same time.

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    Is this going to be similar to Americas super collider?

    When I was reading the article, all I could think of is this thing from a few years back. My knowledge of Biology is very weak. :redface:

    The Superconducting Super Collider

    I was employed by University Research Association during the early 1990's. URA was the primary contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy's Superconducting Super Collider project. I worked for the Instrumentation Group of the Accelerator Systems Division. The groups job was to design and build the electronics that would be the "eyes and ears" of the particle accelerators that made up the labortory. SSC was a neat place, filled with neat and very intelligent folks. It's mission was a cool one. The purpose of this section is to give you an idea of what the project was all about.
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    The Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory (SSCL or SSC for short), what an odd name. Let me start by explaining the name. Superconducting refers to the technology used to produce the enormously strong magnets needed to build a particle accelerator capable of producing the energy levels of interest to high energy particle physicists. The superconducting magnets simply made up a huge "racetrack" for protons to travel around as they gain energy.

    Super, refers to the size of the labs main accelerator known as the Collider. The Collider was an oval shaped accelerator the circumference of which was 54 miles. The Collider oval was located about 200+ ft underground and surrounded the city of Waxahachie, Texas. Click to see a map.

    Collider refers to the main purpose of the laboratory, colliding protons into each other so scientists and physicists could study the resulting shower of smaller particles. Click here to see a computer representation of a collision event.

    Laboratory, of course, refers to what the project was all about, experimentation that would lead to understanding the fundamental constituents of matter.

    Much of what follows comes from the booklet, To the Heart of Matter - The Superconducting Super Collider. This booklet was produced by the laboratory during the early 1990’s. A bibliography follows that contains other references. I happened across the booklet that preceded this one during a visit to the Irving Public Library in 1991. I was fascinated by the project. A few months later I was employed by the laboratory. Even today, after the project is dead and gone I am still impressed by its mission and feel that telling it’s story may be of interest to others.
    the beef
    What is
    the SSC
    Images of
    the invisable

    Particle Physics: Where’s the beef

    Human curiosity about nature has surely been a major force in the progress of our civilization. History has been shaped by the irresistible urge to find out how the world works, and how we can use that knowledge to better our lives. Among the most basic questions that have always been asked are: What is the ultimate structure of matter? What are the forces by which matter interacts? How did the universe begin? Will it ever end?

    These questions particularly the first two, but increasingly the last two as well fall within the domain of high energy physics upon which our knowledge of the other sciences ultimately rests. As biology and medicine are founded in chemistry, and chemistry in physics, so physics is founded in the study of the elementary particles and the forces that govern their behavior. Although the tree of knowledge will continue to be explored fruitfully at many levels, it is only by uncovering its deepest roots that we can fully comprehend the branches above.

    Particle physics is perhaps the most fundamental of sciences, but astronomy is the oldest. Throughout history, nothing has so stirred our imaginations, scientific and poetic alike, as contemplation of the heavens. Until very recently, it could scarcely have been foreseen that some of the age-old mysteries of astronomy might be solved by looking in the opposite direction, into the world of elementary particles. Yet this is precisely what is now happening. Particle physicists in company with nuclear and atomic physicists, astrophysicists and cosmologists, are beginning to understand not simply what matter is, but where it came from, and when, and how.

    Finding answers to such questions is important because everything else we want to know more about, space and time, energy and entrophy, life and death, the rocks of Earth and the fire of the stars is bound up with them. As our knowledge advances, so must the power and precision of the scientific instruments upon which further advances will crucially depend.

    What is (was) the SSC?

    Imagine two rings of metal pipes, eighty seven kilometers (fifty four miles) in circumference, running through a concrete tunnel several meters below ground. The pipes themselves, separated vertically by seventy centimeters (about two feet), are only a few centimeters in diameter. They are under high vacuum and encased in powerful electromagnets held at an ultra low temperature.

    Inside the two pipes, narrow beams of protons whirl around the tunnel in opposite directions at nearly the speed of light. The particles in these beams have been accelerated to an energy of twenty trillion electron volts. This is a huge energy for a single particle to carry: particles emitted by radioactive minerals reach energies less than one millionth as great.

    At a few special points around the ring, in cavernous underground experimental halls, the beams are made to intersect. Although most of the protons simply pass by each other, there are so many protons in the beams that head on collisions occur a hundred million times every second. In each collision, energy of motion is turned to enormous heat in a tiny fireball.

    Click here to see a proposed layout of the SSC

    From within this minute cataclysm, a shower of subnuclear particles among them, perhaps, a new and exotic one speeds fleetingly outwards. Sophisticated electronic detectors catch these evanescent particles, recording their speeds, directions, and types; and physicists around the world analyze these records for clues to the innermost nature of matter and the forces that hold it together

    This is (would have been) the Superconducting Super Collider, the world’s premier particle accelerator. It will boost its protons to energies twenty times higher than ever before, enabling physicists to search out the elementary constituents of matter with unprecedented precision, and to explore distances one thousandth the diameter of a proton. For physicists , the SSC will be a microscope of unparalleled power.

    To probe the inner structure of smaller and smaller objects, physicists must use probes of increasingly high energy. This century’s great advances in accelerator technology have allowed fundamental science to make tremendous strides. Each new machine has revealed new particles and deepened our understanding of the universe. The SSC, accelerating protons to previously unreached energies, continues this quest.

    The Proton is the tiny nucleus of the hydrogen atom. In size, it is to a mosquito as a mosquito is to Mercury’s orbit around the sun. Though a twenty TeV (trillion electron volt) proton has about the same energy as a mosquito in flight, that energy is squeezed into a much smaller volume. It is this density of energy, not the energy as such, that makes the collision of protons so incisive a probe.

    Because protons carry electric charge, they can be influenced by electric and magnetic fields and by electromagnetic radiation such as radio waves. In the SSC, the protons are confined to their oval bath by strong magnetic fields, and on each of their many millions of circuits around the ring, bursts of radio waves give them a carefully timed boost.

    In principle, a single large ring could accelerate protons from a standing start to their final velocity near the speed of light. In practice, it is far more efficient to use a cascade of accelerators, each designed to cover a particular range of energy. In the SSC, protons will first pass through a linear accelerator, and from there will enter a series of three booster rings. Each of these will take in protons at one energy and feed them at a higher energy to the next stage. Finally, the main ring will receive protons at 2 TeV and push them to 20 TeV to await collision.

    Ten thousand powerful electromagnets will keep the proton beams tightly focused on their oval track. The SSC will use superconducting magnets, in whose coils electric current will flow unhindered and without the power loss that would make the operation of conventional magnets prohibitively expensive.

    In 1983, came proof that superconductivity, long a laboratory curiosity, could be successfully used in a large accelerator. After years of research and development, superconducting magnets were installed in the main ring of the Tevatron, the proton synchroton at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), near Chicago. The outstanding performance of the Tevatron assures us that this new technology, at the frontier of our experience, can be used with confidence in the search for new fundamental physics

    Particle Accelerators

    Accelerators are to particle physics what telescopes are to astronomy, or microscopes are to biology. These instruments all reveal and illuminate worlds that would otherwise remain hidden from our view. They are the indispensable tools of scientific progress.

    The earliest accelerators were simple vacuum tubes in which electrons were given a kick in energy by the voltage difference between two oppositely charged electrodes. From these evolved the Cockroft-Walton and van de Graaff machines, larger and more elaborate, but using the same principle. The modern example of this type of device is the linear accelerator, a sophisticated machine used in many scientific and medical applications. All such straight-line accelerators suffer from the disadvantage that the finite length of flight path limits the particle energies that can be achieved.

    The great breakthrough in accelerator technology came in 1920 with Ernest O. Lawrence’s invention of the cyclotron. In the cyclotron, magnets guide the particles along a spiral path, allowing a single electric field to apply many cycles of acceleration. Soon unprecedented energies were achieved, and the steady improvement of Lawrence’s simple machine has led to today’s proton synchrotrons, whose endless circular flight paths allow protons to gain huge energies by passing millions of times through the electric fields that accelerate them.

    Until twenty-five years ago, all accelerators were so-called fixed-target machines, in which the speeding particle beam was made to hit a stationary target of some chosen substance. But early in the 1960’s physicists had gained enough experience in accelerator technology to be able to build colliders, in which two carefully controlled beams are made to collide with each other at a chosen point. Several colliders exist around the world today, and the technology for them is by now well established.

    Colliders are more demanding to build, but the effort pays off handsomely. In a fixed-target machine, most of the projectile particle is locked up, after impact on the target, in continued forward motion of the debris. In a collider, on the other hand, two particles of equal energy coming together have no net motion, and collision makes all their energy available for new reactions and the creation of new particles.

    A look inside Fermilab's tunnel

    Images of the Invisible

    To the physicist, the idea of a huge particle accelerator as a kind of microscope is reasonable enough: both devices reveal things invisible to the unaided senses. But to the non-scientist, the analogy may be puzzling. Most of us have looked down a microscope, perhaps seeing grains of pollen or the cells of a living organism. How do such pictures compare with the mysterious tracks of unknown particles that are the images we get from a particle accelerator?

    We can see objects in the world around us because light bounces off them and enters our eyes. The rays of light create an image on the retina and stimulate nerve cells, sending electrical impulses to the brain. There, those signals are analyzed to construct a mental image of the original object The microscope increases our power of sight by magnifying a visual image through glass lenses that, in effect, enhance the acuity and light gathering ability of our organic lenses in our eyes. But still it is our minds that do the analysis, creating a mental image of the object from its pattern of scattered light.

    The electron microscope uses magnetic instead of optical lenses to direct a beam of tiny particles, electrons, onto the object to be studied. The scattered electrons are then focused by another set of magnetic lenses onto a photo phorescent screen, as in a television set, and we see an image multiplied many thousands of times. The electron microscope is clearly a cousin to the conventional kind, but in its use of particles instead of light it also has something in common with the accelerators of high energy physics.

    In 1911, Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden performed an experiment that was the foindation of modern particle physics. At the urging of the great physicist Ernest Rutherford, they used a radioactive source to shoot alpha particles at a wafer thin gold foil, and detected the scattered alphas by watching them with a phosphorescent screen. At the time alpha particles were known to be related to helium atoms, and to be much heavier than electrons, but the nature of the atom was the subject of speculation. J. J. Thompson, the discoverer of the electron, believed that the negatively charged electrons in an atom were embedded, in an unknown way, in a cloud of counter balancing positive charge.

    By studying, how the alpha particles scattered off the gold foil, scientists hoped to learn something of the nature of the gold atoms. According to Thomson’s model, the alpha particles should pass through with only small changes of direction, because neither the electrons, which were too light, nor the positive charge, which was too diffusely distributed, could exert enough force on the alphas to knock them noticeably off-course. But what Geiger and Marsden found instead was that some of the alpha particles were deflected through large angles, and a few actually reversed direction altogether. It was as if, said Rutherford in a famous remark, "you had fired a fifteen inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you."

    By analyzing the distribution of scattered alpha particles, Rutherford arrived at the modern picture of the atom, in which the electrons orbit a tiny central nucleus, as in a miniature solar system. In the Geiger-Marsden experiment, most of the alphas go straight through one of those empty spaces, but occasionally one will get close enough to a dense, heavy nucleus that electrical repulsion between the two will push the alpha off its path. This revelation of the atom as a tiny mechanical system, consisting of electrons and a nucleus was the beginning of modern atomic physics.

    This alpha-particle microscope allowed Rutherford to "see" the atomic nucleus, and the same general principle behind high energy physics experiments today. With machines that accelerate particles to ever higher energies and smash them into different targets, physicists have seen ever smaller objects. Such experiments have revealed protons and neutrons within the atomic nucleus, and then quarks within protons and neutrons. The SSC will look closer yet, perhaps within the quarks themselves.

    We have come a long way from the first simple microscopes, and as the worlds we look within have become more distant from the realm of human senses , so our microscopes have become more elaborate. In the SSC, proton beams will serve as light rays, huge but finely built detectors as our eyes, and arrays of computers as our brains. Though it will probe the smallest objects in the universe, the SSC is fundamentally a tool for increasing the power of our sight: it is a microscope.

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    Seems like there is still much more investigating to do in the realms of science. So much we still don't know or only have a vague clue about. If they build this thing and learn something new about our Universe I think that knowledge would be priceless.

    But honestly trying to find a "God particle" is quite silly. One thing always happens in Science for each answer there always comes more questions.

    They aren't and never will find the answer to it all. If they do there will be nothing more to investigate, Science will be over with. And we will be "Gods".

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    If such a sub - atomic particle is found and exploited across the globe then it will be a crippling blow to the church most likely ending almost every religion. Part of me wants it to come about as an existing 'anomaly' (seems almost appropriate calling it that). And of course another half wants the experiment to fail and the myth never discovered.

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