July 11, 2012
By Brantley Hargrove
In the early morning hours Wednesday, physicists in Switzerland may announce that they've discovered the elusive "God Particle," aka the Higgs boson.
For more than half a century, the Higgs has been the theoretical mechanism that imbued matter with mass after the Big Bang, so that the swirling chaos of the universe could coalesce into planets and, eventually, life. Since 1994, Southern Methodist University physics professor Ryszard Stroynowski has been involved in the construction of a device that could detect the presence of the Higgs in the Large Hadron Collider. Back in December, the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced they'd narrowed their search down to a small range of masses. Reached Tuesday, he was tight-lipped about Wednesday's announcement.
"I'm involved with (one of two CERN experiments, known as ATLAS) and I can tell you that we're confident and that we have enough data to cover whatever statements we're making," Stroynowski tells Unfair Park. The wording of that statement, though, will be carefully couched.
Two anonymous CERN researchers leaked to the journal Nature the discovery of a new particle. But is it the Higgs, or something they hadn't counted on?
"By tomorrow, we will say we found something. The wording will be official wording from the lab," Stroynowski says. "We definitely have a strong indication for something we haven't seen before."...