With the warmth of holiday cheer in the air, some physicists decided to hit the pub after a conference in December 2014 and do what many physicists tend to do after work: keep talking about physics. That evening’s topic of conversation: dark energy particles. The chat would lead to a new line of investigation at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Every second, the universe grows a little bigger. Scientists are using the LHC to try to find out why.
If you want to visit the Pasner family farm, you’ll need a truck with four-wheel drive. You’ll need to traverse 4 miles of bumpy dirt road deep into the countryside of Penn Valley, California. But once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by fields of organic onions and garlic, nestled between rolling grassy hills speckled with oak trees. For physicist Jake Pasner, this will always be home.
During the last four years, LHC scientists have filled in gaps in our knowledge and tested the boundaries of the Standard Model. Since the start of Run II in March 2015, they’ve recorded an incredible amount of data —five times more than the LHC produced in Run I. The accelerator produced approximately 16 million billion proton-proton collisions — about one collision for every ant currently living on Earth.
From Gizmodo, Sept. 11, 2018: The Large Hadron Collider started up in 2008, and in 2012, LHC scientists announced the discovery of the Higgs boson. Here’s what else is happening at the famous collider. Recent CMS spokesperson and Fermilab scientist Joel Butler comments.
From Kane County Chronicle, Aug. 30, 2018: Fermilab scientists have played a role in the recent discovery of the Higgs boson transforming into bottom quarks as it decays. The breakthrough was described in a joint announcement from the Large Hadron Collider experiment collaborations ATLAS and CMS at CERN.
From CNET, Aug. 30, 2018: This explainer on the latest Higgs boson result from ATLAS and CMS quotes Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln.
From Live Science, Aug. 28, 2018: Fermilab and CMS scientist Don Lincoln explains the latest exciting result from the Large Hadron Collider: ATLAS and CMS’s first unambiguous observation of Higgs bosons decaying into a matter-antimatter pair of bottom quarks. Surprisingly, the Higgs bosons decay most often in this way.
From GeekWire, Aug. 28, 2018: It took several years for ATLAS and CMS researchers to nail down the evidence of the Higgs decay into two b quarks to a standard significance of 5-sigma. Researchers had to sift through billions of data points from two collider runs to boost their confidence sufficiently.