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Thursday, February 16, 2012

CERN turns up power to answer Higgs riddle in 2012 | Sci-tech | DAWN.COM

CERN turns up power to answer Higgs riddle in 2012 | Sci-tech | DAWN.COM: "GENEVA: Scientists hunting the Higgs boson, the sub-atomic particle believed to have played a vital role in the creation of the universe, decided on Monday to turn up the power in their Large Hadron Collider to try to prove its existence this year.

The CERN research centre near Geneva wants to prove or disprove the existence of an invisible ‘Higgs’ field permeating the universe quickly, before the giant LHC machine is shut down for a long-term upgrade in late 2012.

“This means more Higgs, more quickly,” said CERN spokesman James Gillies. The existence of the particle was postulated by British physicist Peter Higgs in 1964 but has never been proved.

According to the theory, the particle was the agent that made the stars, planets – and life – possible by giving mass to most elementary particles, the building blocks of the universe.
In the LHC, two beams of energy are fired in opposite directions around the 27 km (17 mile) pipe before slamming into each other, spawning particle collisions that recreate what happened a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang, which brought the universe into existence 13.7 billion years ago."

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