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The Lead

Famed atom smasher gets twice the energy next year

June 24, 2014 8:27 am | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

The world's largest atom smasher is gearing up for its second three-year run after 16 months of maintenance and upgrades. Once the Large Hadron Collider restarts after numerous upgrades, two beams will be fired again within the collider at the same time in opposite directions with the aim of recreating conditions a split second after the Big Bang.

Evidence found for the Higgs boson direct decay into fermions

June 23, 2014 8:16 am | News | Comments

Researchers at CERN have, for the first time,...

Physicists confirm existence of new type of meson

May 2, 2014 8:58 am | News | Comments

A Syracuse Univ. physics team recently proved the...

Physicists unveil results helping explain universe

July 22, 2013 9:17 am | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

After a quarter-century of searching, scientists have nailed down how one particularly...

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Physicists create world’s smallest drops

May 17, 2013 12:15 pm | News | Comments

Results of a recent experiment conducted at the Large Hadron Collider may have generated the smallest drops of liquid ever produced in a laboratory. Evidence of the minuscule droplets was extracted from the results of colliding protons with lead ions at velocities approaching the speed of light. According to the scientists’ calculations, these short-lived droplets are the size of three to five protons.

Is antimatter anti-gravity?

April 30, 2013 11:53 am | by Robert Sanders, University of California, Berkeley | News | Comments

Antimatter is strange stuff. It has the opposite electrical charge to matter and, when it meets its matter counterpart, the two annihilate in a flash of light. Four University of California, Berkeley, physicists are now asking whether matter and antimatter are affected differently by gravity as well. Could antimatter fall upward—that is, exhibit anti-gravity—or fall downward at a different rate?

CERN scientists find asymmetry in particle decay

April 25, 2013 8:24 am | by Cian O'Luanaigh, CERN | News | Comments

Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher have found further reasons for the apparent lack of antimatter in the universe. A team working with data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider says it has discovered a particle that decays unevenly into matter and antimatter. The laboratory near Geneva said Wednesday that the particle called 'B0s' is the fourth sub-atomic particle known to prefer matter over antimatter.

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Scientists find hint of dark matter from cosmos

April 3, 2013 12:09 pm | News | Comments

An international team of scientists says the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer installed at the International Space Station has found the first hint of dark matter, which has never yet been directly observed. The team said Wednesday its first results from the cosmic ray detector, flown into space two years ago, show evidence of a new physics phenomena that could be the strange and unknown matter.

Physicists say they have found a Higgs boson

March 14, 2013 9:26 am | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

The search is all but over for the now-famous subatomic particle that is a crucial building block of the universe. Physicists at CERN announced Thursday they believe they have discovered the Higgs boson that was predicted nearly a half-century ago. The finding, they say, will go a long way toward explaining what gives electrons and all matter in the universe size and shape.

God particle: Confirmation is “achingly close”

March 7, 2013 3:19 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Physicists in Italy said Wednesday they are achingly close to concluding that what they found last year was the Higgs boson, the elusive "God particle." They need to eliminate one last remote possibility that it's something else. That “something else” is a graviton, another subatomic particle associated with gravitational fields, not mass.

A question of spin for the new boson

March 6, 2013 3:43 pm | News | Comments

Physicists speaking today at the Moriond conference in La Thuile, Italy, have announced that the new particle discovered at CERN last year is looking more and more like a Higgs boson. However, more analysis is still required before a definitive statement can be made. The key to a positive identification of the particle is a detailed analysis of its properties and the way that it interacts with other particles. Since the announcement last July, much more data has been analyzed, and these properties are becoming clearer.

Atom smasher hiatus sets stage for more discovery

January 7, 2013 1:22 pm | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

The world's largest and most powerful atom smasher goes into a 2-year hibernation in March, as engineers carry out a revamp to help it reach maximum energy levels that could lead to more stunning discoveries following the detection of the so-called "God particle."

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The first LHC protons run ends with new milestone

December 19, 2012 8:58 am | News | Comments

On Monday, CERN completed its first Large Hadron Collider proton run. The remarkable first three-year run of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator was crowned by a new performance milestone. The space between proton bunches in the beams was halved to further increase beam intensity.

CERN collider may have produced new type of matter

November 27, 2012 2:59 pm | News | Comments

When beams of particles crash into each other at high speeds, the collisions yield hundreds of new particles, most of which fly away from the collision point at close to the speed of light. However, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) team at the Large Hadron Colllider found that in a sample of 2 million lead-proton collisions, some pairs of particles flew away from each other with their respective directions correlated. The observation suggests the collisions may have produced a new type of matter known as color-glass condensate.

CERN collider to become the world's fastest stopwatch?

November 12, 2012 10:24 am | News | Comments

In addition to ability to create elusive particles, the Large Hadron Collider also has the ability to create the shortest light pulses yet. According to scientists, these heavy ion collisions produce yoctosecond-scale pulses that have been impossible to measure. Now, however, researchers say they can do this by using a concept originally developed for astronomy.

LHC collides protons with lead ions for the first time

September 13, 2012 5:53 am | News | Comments

This morning the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) collided protons with lead ions for the first time. This week's short run will give the experiments a first taste of proton-nucleus collisions before the main run in January to February 2013, the last LHC physics before the accelerator is shut down for maintenance.

India: Enough about Higgs, let's discuss the boson

July 10, 2012 6:57 am | by Katy Daigle, Associated Press | News | Comments

While much of the world was celebrating the international cooperation that led to last week's breakthrough in identifying the existence of the Higgs boson particle, many in India were smarting over what they saw as a slight against one of their greatest scientists. Media covering the story gave lots of credit to British physicist Peter Higgs for theorizing the elusive subatomic "God particle," but little was said about Satyendranath Bose, the Indian after whom the boson is named.

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Eureka! Physicists celebrate evidence of particle

July 5, 2012 7:56 am | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher hailed the discovery of "the missing cornerstone of physics" Wednesday, cheering the apparent end of a decades-long quest for a new subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, or "God particle," which could help explain why all matter has mass and crack open a new realm of subatomic science. Still, CERN is stopping just shy of declaring the new particle is the Higgs itself.

Evidence of 'God particle' found

July 2, 2012 4:33 pm | by John Heilprin and Seth Borenstein, Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have nearly confirmed the primary plank of a theory that could restructure the understanding of why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight. They have a footprint and a shadow, and the only thing left is to see for themselves the elusive subatomic particle believed to give all matter in the universe size and shape.

Scientists raise energy level at Big Bang machine

April 6, 2012 5:10 am | News | Comments

After two years of running at 3.5 TeV per beam, researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, say the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider in a 27-km (17-mile) tunnel under the Swiss-French border at Geneva has begun operating at 8 TeV, greater than any previous physics accelerator.

Second neutrino team refutes faster-than-light find

March 18, 2012 9:01 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

European researchers said Friday they have measured the speed of neutrinos and found the subatomic particles don't travel faster than light after all, refuting another team's measurements that prompted widespread disbelief among scientists last year.

CERN experiment makes spectroscopic measurement of antihydrogen

March 7, 2012 8:17 am | News | Comments

The ALPHA collaboration at CERN has reported an important milestone on the way to measuring the properties of antimatter atoms. This follows news reported in June, 2011, that the collaboration had routinely trapped antihydrogen atoms for long periods of time.

LHC to run a 4 TeV per beam in 2012

February 14, 2012 4:23 am | News | Comments

CERN announced that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will run with a beam energy of 4 TeV this year, 0.5 TeV higher than in 2010 and 2011. This decision was also accompanied by a strategy to optimize LHC running to deliver the maximum possible amount of data in 2012 before the LHC goes into a long shutdown to prepare for higher energy running.

Hints of the Higgs show in latest analyses

December 14, 2011 8:39 am | News | Comments

Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider have nearly eliminated the space in which the Higgs boson could dwell, scientists announced Tuesday. However, the ATLAS and CMS experiments see modest excesses in their data that could soon uncover the famous missing piece of the physics puzzle.

New LHC data further narrows hunt for 'God' particle

December 13, 2011 3:04 am | News | Comments

One of two research teams hunting for the Higgs boson announced Tuesday that the latest data has helped narrow the search. The particle is more likely to be found in the lower energy ranges of the Large Hadron Collider, and this finding is expected to be confirmed later in the day by the second team.

Atom smasher to narrow search for Higgs boson

December 9, 2011 6:31 am | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists at the world's largest atom smasher have new data that shows with greater certainty where to find the long-sought theoretical particle that would help explain the origins of the universe.

CERN excludes one error in faster-than-light finding

November 18, 2011 4:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists at the world's largest physics laboratory say they have ruled out one possible error that could have distorted measurements they took that appear to show particles traveling faster than light.

LHC to begin long lead-ion run

November 17, 2011 9:53 am | News | Comments

After several months of proton collisions, the Large Hadron Collider is embarking on a period of lead ion running, which will last until Dec. 7, 2011. LHC’s performance has been dramatically improved since the first lead-ion run in 2010, and researchers are expecting large quantities of data from the creation of quark gluon plasma, the stuff that existed in the earliest moments of the universe.

LHC proton run for 2011 reaches successful conclusion

November 1, 2011 4:35 am | News | Comments

After some 180 days of running and four hundred trillion proton proton collisions, the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC's) 2011 proton run came to an end at 5:15 p.m., October 30, 2011. For the second year running, the LHC team has largely surpassed its operational objectives, steadily increasing the rate at which the LHC has delivered data to the experiments.

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