WBEZ | Higgs Boson http://www.wbez.org/tags/higgs-boson Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A poem about The God Particle http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/poem-about-god-particle-100747 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP120704021118%20%281%29.jpg" style="height: 224px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="This 2011 image provide by CERN, shows a real CMS proton-proton collision in which 4 high energy electrons are observed in a 2011 event. The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of a Higgs boson but is also consistent with background Standard Model physics processes. (AP/CERN)" />You may still be confused about the origins of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/science/fermilab-scientists-applaud-higgs-boson-discovery-100653">the Higgs boson</a>, but performer Piero Procaccini has it down and he&#39;s written a spoken-word paen to the so-called &quot;God Particle.&quot; Read an excerpt below or listen above:</p><p><em>There&rsquo;s a tale to be told of a turbulent time,</em></p><p><em>But the lesson to learn borders on the sublime,&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>And so let us begin with a bang, so to speak,</em></p><p><em>Then skip more than ten billion years plus half a week.</em></p><p><em>To the end of the day at the end of a bar,</em></p><p><em>It does not matter where, only know it&rsquo;s not far.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>There the bartender stood, with a rag in his fist,</em></p><p><em>And a smirk on his face that he could not resist,</em></p><p><em>For at that very moment, the front door swung wide,</em></p><p><em>And a woman escaped from the heat from outside.</em></p><p><em>And she pulled up a stool and she ordered a drink,</em></p><p><em>And he stared for a moment then gave her a wink.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;See the paper today?&rdquo; he inquired with delight</em></p><p><em>And she knew, in that instant, he wanted a fight.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;Yes, I did,&rdquo; she replied as she tried not to cuss.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;Is there something you saw that you&rsquo;d like to discuss?&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;You&rsquo;re the scientist, aren&rsquo;t you?&rdquo; His words dripped with scorn.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;Always trying to prove there&rsquo;s no God, I&rsquo;d have sworn.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;Well that isn&rsquo;t quite fair,&rdquo; she began her reply,</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;Science seeks to uncover the &lsquo;how&rsquo; more than &lsquo;why.&rsquo;</em></p><p><em>We test out our theories,&rdquo; she said with calm pauses.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;To understand Nature through natural causes.</em></p><p><em>And no matter how loudly that someone insists.</em></p><p><em>We lay no claim to whether or not God exists.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s not true &ndash; not today!&rdquo; his response, so unwarm.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;There is proof God exists now in particle form.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;Oh, is that why you&rsquo;re smiling?&rdquo; she laughed, &ldquo;That&rsquo;s no bigs.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>The God Particle&rsquo;s really a boson called Higgs.&rdquo;</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a><em>&nbsp;is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your&nbsp;</em>The Paper Machete Radio Magazine<em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/poem-about-god-particle-100747 A ghostly sighting, but no clear sign of mystery particle http://www.wbez.org/story/ghostly-sighting-no-clear-sign-mystery-particle-94860 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-13/Higgs event.gif" alt="" /><p><p>Scientists have caught a <a href="http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2011/PR25.11E.html">faint whiff of the Higgs boson</a>, the most sought-after prize in particle physics. But the findings are sketchy, dashing rumors that the particle has actually been found. If the Higgs boson were Bigfoot, today’s announcement would be like that grainy X-Files picture: worth a closer look, but maybe just a trick of the light.</p><p>Two teams at the European lab CERN say they’ve narrowed down the area where the Higgs could be hiding, and each team has seen a flash of data that could be the particle’s calling card. They’re about 97 percent confident, which is actually pretty low in physics terms.</p><p>West suburban Fermilab is sifting data from its own particle collider, which shut down this fall. Rob Roser, spokesman for the Fermilab team CDF, says the Fermilab data could partially corroborate CERN’s findings from the Large Hadron Collider, or rule them out.</p><p>“Between the LHC and the Tevatron, within a year I think we will know. It will run out of places to hide,” says Roser.</p><p>Roser says, for him, today’s most significant takeaway is confirmation that the LHC is working better than expected. CERN and Fermilab were in a race to discover the Higgs, until the European lab finally eclipsed its competitor this year. The Higgs is the last undiscovered building block predicted by the leading theory of the makeup of the universe.</p></p> Tue, 13 Dec 2011 16:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/ghostly-sighting-no-clear-sign-mystery-particle-94860 Clever Apes #19: Godspeed, Tevatron http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-09-27/clever-apes-19-godspeed-tevatron-92526 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-28/AP03072905770.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="(WBEZ / Michael De Bonis)" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-27/Tevatron%20Memorial%20USE%20THIS%20ONE%20%282%29.png" style="width: 550px; height: 480px;" title="(WBEZ / Michael De Bonis)"></p><p>The <a href="http://www.fnal.gov/pub/science/accelerator/">Tevatron particle collider </a>shut down in September of 2011. Once the highest-energy collide in the world, it is survived by its descendants, the <a href="http://www.bnl.gov/rhic/">Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider </a>at Brookhaven, and the <a href="http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/LHC/LHC-en.html">Large Hadron Collider </a>at CERN. The Tevatron was 28.</p><p>If ever a machine was deserving of an obituary, it is the Tevatron. Housed at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, the Tevatron spent decades at the frontier of science. Its collisions offered glimpses into nature’s secret places, on the tiniest scales and highest energies ever probed.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size: 8px;">Listen to the episode: </span></strong></p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Clever_Apes_19_Godspeed_Tevatron.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-117208">Clever_Apes_19_Godspeed_Tevatron.mp3</span></p><p>But last year the frontier moved off the Illinois prairie, over to Europe, where the LHC has dwarfed the Tevatron into obsolescence. Nearly anything the Tevatron could do, the LHC can do better. And so the government pulled the plug, with the Tevatron going dark on Friday, September 30. In this installment of Clever Apes, we take a moment to <a href="http://www.fnal.gov/pub/tevatron/milestones/interactive-timeline.html">remember the good times </a>– the <a href="http://www.hep.princeton.edu/mumu/nuphys/072100sci-atoms-neutrinos.html">tau neutrinos</a>, the <a href="http://tomato.fnal.gov/ops/records.php">luminosity records</a>, the <a href="http://today.slac.stanford.edu/feature/matter-antimatter-oscillations.asp">strange-B oscillations</a> … and of course, the one thing normal people may have actually heard of, the <a href="http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/cms/?pid=1000085">top quark</a>. That was the Tevatron’s high water mark, discovering the linchpin of the <a href="http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Science/StandardModel-en.html">Standard Model </a>– a kind of periodic table of fundamental particles and forces.</p><p><img alt="The control room crew runs all of Fermilab's big machines. (WBEZ / Gabriel Spitz" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-27/Control room.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 450px;" title="The control room crew runs all of Fermilab's big machines. (WBEZ / Gabriel Spitzer)"></p><p>And we consider the real value of basic science. Quarks don’t end recessions. Neutrino oscillations aren’t going to solve global warming. But there are a few benefits that belong on the balance sheet in the Teavtron’s favor. One is that, like NASA, pushing at the boundaries of our knowledge tends to bring ancillary benefits. In Fermilab’s case, <a href="http://scienceinsociety.northwestern.edu/content/articles/2008/schellman/from-a-physicists-mind">magnetic resonance imaging </a>(MRI) and <a href="http://www.protons.com/proton-therapy/">specialized radiation therapy </a>for cancer are part of the accelerator’s lineage.</p><p>But more basic than that, is that this kind of research into the nature of nature seems like part of the human condition – lab director Pier Oddone calls it the “inquiry gene.” Another Fermilab director – founder Robert Wilson – said it incredibly eloquently in 1969. He was <a href="http://history.fnal.gov/testimony.html">testifying before Congress, </a>and it feels so appropriate for this week that I include it here in its entirety:</p><p>SENATOR PASTORE. Is there anything connected in the hopes of this accelerator that in any way involves the security of the country?</p><p>DR. WILSON. No, sir; I do not believe so.</p><p>SENATOR PASTORE. Nothing at all?</p><p>DR. WILSON. Nothing at all.</p><p>SENATOR PASTORE. It has no value in that respect?</p><p>DR. WILSON. It only has to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. It has to do with those things. It has nothing to do with the military. I am sorry.</p><p>SENATOR PASTORE. Don't be sorry for it.</p><p>DR. WILSON. I am not, but I cannot in honesty say it has any such application.</p><p>SENATOR PASTORE. Is there anything here that projects us in a position of being competitive with the Russians, with regard to this race?</p><p>DR. WILSON. Only from a long-range point of view, of a developing technology. Otherwise, it has to do with: Are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things that we really venerate and honor in our country and are patriotic about. In that sense, this new knowledge has all to do with honor and country, but it has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to help make it worth defending.</p><p><img alt="Fermilab's Wilson Hall rises above the Illinois prairie. (WBEZ / Gabriel Spitzer" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-27/IMG_1245.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 450px;" title="Fermilab's Wilson Hall rises above the Illinois prairie. (WBEZ / Gabriel Spitzer)"></p></p> Tue, 27 Sep 2011 22:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-09-27/clever-apes-19-godspeed-tevatron-92526