CERN & The Bump

ALL POINTS ALERT CERN LHC: New Physics Beyond The Higgs?

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June 8, 2016 —

Late last year, when most people were getting ready for the holidays, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) machine at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, made a startling announcement: Their two massive detectors had identified a small bump in the data with an energy level of about 750 GeV.

This level is about six times larger than the energy associated with the Higgs particle. (To go from energy to mass divide the energy by the square of the speed of light.) For comparison, the mass of a proton, the particle that makes the nuclei of all atoms in nature, is about 1 GeV. The Higgs is heavy — and this new bump, if associated with a new particle, would be really heavy.

The high energy physics community answered with verve. In a few months, hundreds of papers have been published with hypothetical explanations for the bump.

Last month, physicists at CERN released a bit more information, slightly strengthening their claim for the reality of this new data point. Right now, the bump has a 1 in 20 chance of being just a spurious statistical fluctuation, something that happens from time to time, even if rare.

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When do scientists declare that something is “real,” that is, that something belongs to the collection of other particles we have found so far that make up all the material diversity we see? It’s a tricky question. There is an agreed standard, that the signal for a new particle must be certain to a level of 1/3,500,000. That’s very far from 1/20, and that’s why physicists are not announcing a new discovery just yet. However, if all goes well with the LHC operations, by late fall we should have enough data to decide whether the bump is real.

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Then comes the fun part: If it’s real, what is it?

The editors of the prestigious physics journal Physical Review Letters published an editorial explaining how they selected four representative papers from the deluge they received trying to make sense of the bump.

The exciting part of this is that the bump would be new, surprising physics, beyond expectations. There’s nothing more interesting for a scientist than to have the unexpected show up, as if nature is trying to nudge us to look in a different direction.

The four papers propose different explanations for the data, assuming, of course, it doesn’t go away. Three of them suggest the bump does indeed signal the existence of a new particle. A fourth suggest that the event signals the fragmentation of a much heavier particle:

One paper suggests the existence of a new force of nature, so, a fifth force, that acts like the strong force that glues atomic nuclei together. The strong force also glues quarks into protons and quarks and antiquarks into pions. (I know, it starts getting weird quickly. Antiquarks? They are mostly like quarks but with opposite electric charge.) The idea is that these two quarklike particles are glued into something like a new pion (which looks a lot like a very heavy Higgs) that eventually decays, releasing the two photons that were detected.
A new Higgs-like particle that couples to new kinds of particles.
A particle predicted from a thus far elusive symmetry of nature known as supersymmetry. If real, supersymmetry demands that every particle has a partner, like a mirror image with some properties reversed. The simplest version of supersymmetry is practically ruled out by data, but more convoluted extensions are still game. Expectations are high that this could be the case, as supersymmetry has been around for more than 45 years and needs some experimental support to remain credible as a physical theory of nature — and not just a nice idea.
Finally, the fourth paper suggests the bump is not the signature of a new particle at 750 GeV, but the remains of a much heavier particle that breaks down into a cascade of fragments. The two photons are the detectable signature of one fragment, like catching a movie in the middle.

It will be interesting to see how this plot unfolds as new data are gathered and released to the community. The exciting part is that we have this amazing tool that is opening windows into completely new territory. The Higgs was just the beginning, it seems.

Why should one care? There are different reasons, from the practical to the sublime. To engineer a machine like the LHC, compile and analyze the mountains of data it generates, and then interpret the whole thing takes not just pushing technology to the limit and beyond, but also the development of community rules of engagement in teams of thousands of physicists and engineers. Who calls the shots? How are decisions made? The World Wide Web was created at CERN to facilitate the exchange of data between scientists, a pretty critical spinoff from a particle physics experiment. Data storage and management technologies are being invented all the time at such facilities, as are detector and radiation technologies.

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At the more abstract, a new physics event at energies six times higher than where the Higgs was found would mean that we are edging a bit closer to the Big Bang, the event that marks the origin of the universe. There is a huge gap in energy between the Higgs and the Big Bang, of course, but getting new data at higher energies can clarify how to move closer. This kind of fundamental physics has a very noble heritage, as it traces its origins to the beginnings of Western philosophy and even beyond — to questions related to our origins. If we picture creation as a puzzle, every new piece we discover helps us understand our origins a little better. The new bump may not give us a final answer (it’s not clear we can ever get there), but it’d certainly make the picture clearer.

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As Tom Stoppard wrote in his play Arcadia, it is wanting to know that makes us matter. And fundamental physics is all about wanting to know.

Marcelo Gleiser is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist — and a professor of natural philosophy, physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College. He is the co-founder of 13.7, and an active promoter of science to the general public. His latest book is The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected: A Natural Philosopher’s Quest for Trout and the Meaning of Everything.


Magic, Physics, & The Sacred

‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’ —Arthur C. Clarke

‘What the universe becomes depends on you’ —Henryk Skolimowski

 Magic may not be what we think it is. In fact, it may be very much more. It may in fact be everything, and everything that is not magic simply is not. In other words, life itself is magic. Not only the miraculous nature of life itself (which is what it is when we come to think about it), but also the very process/act of life creation is itself a form of magic. We live in a world of magic today; without magic there would be nothing. So let’s be clear, I’m not talking about white doves flying out of long sleeves, rabbits jumping out of top hats, or sleight of hand card tricks. This is conjuring (or ‘party tricks’) and is as far away from genuine magic as a tasty meal is from the written menu. Rather, true magic is about the animation and power of the human soul. The ancient Egyptians knew this well.

For the ancient Egyptians magic was not so much seen as a series of human practices or rituals but rather as the essential energy that pervades the cosmos. It was an underlying pervasive energy that humans could access, activate, and potentially direct. The Egyptians understood this magic to be in the form of a god, named Heka, which represented the primal cosmic energy that permeated all levels of existence. It was an energy that animated the bodies of gods and humans, as well as the plants and the stones. Everything was thus instilled with this ‘magic,’ which was a spiritual energizing power. It was through Heka that things of the material plane could participate upon the spiritual. The spiritualizing force was also the conscious, animating energy. Heka – magic – also referred to the activation of a person’s soul. The Egyptians believed that one of the functions of magic was to activate the soul within the human body. As Jeremy Naydler notes,

The ancient Egyptians understood that to become enlightened one must become aware of that which is cosmic in one’s own nature. One must realize that there is something deep within human nature that is essentially not of this earth, but is a cosmic principle.1

This cosmic principle in one’s own nature was magic, or the underlying animating energy of the cosmos. In those times there was not the vocabulary that is extant today for observing and describing the cosmos. In the ancient past, which had a participatory understanding of the communion between humanity and the cosmos, language was couched in different terms. The Egyptians, for example, expressed themselves through the visual language of hieroglyphics. In this language the world of the human was inextricably bound with the world of the gods, and the otherworld. The deep animating force of the human soul came from a communion with the spiritualizing force of the cosmos. From their language, translated into our own, we know this as magic. Yet to them it was a different form of magic, and totally unlike that which we understand today. And yet if we look at the quirky weirdness of the quantum world, with its uncertainty principle and quantum entanglement, we are seeing the same form of magic that inspired the Egyptians. As the eminent science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke noted, any form of advanced technology is, to the observer, indistinguishable from magic. Magic is the mysterious glue that entangles, connects, communes, and also animates us from nothing to everything. Sacred creation and the creative sacred is the mirroring of the magical quantum collapse into being.

The knowledge of sacred magic, of the cosmic mysteries, was sought after by all of our known and most highly regarded historical philosophers. From Plato, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Democritus, Plotinus, and so on, such seekers of wisdom travelled widely and extensively in their time for the gaining and understanding of such knowledge. Upon their return, they then publicly preached and taught it. There was that which was allowed to be divulged in public, for the consumption of the masses, and then there were the Mystery Schools for those initiates deemed worthy of the deeper knowledge of the cosmos. Magic and natural philosophy were seen as aspects of the same stream of knowledge. It was about the science of material and non-material things; knowledge of the pure forms and secondary forms.

The great religious institutions also openly wrote accounts of the use of sacred magic. The biblical King Solomon was declared as proficient in the magical arts, and it is said that God bestowed upon him the knowledge of the ‘true science of things.’ In the Quran there are also numerous references to the existence of djinns and their magical, and often disruptive, influence. Magic is also connected to the cosmos and creation in many cultures, and in indigenous and so-called primitive tribes the world over. Some form of shamanic contact with the spirit world seems to be nearly universal in the early development of human communities. For millennia it has been known that ritual acts, language, and intention (mental focus) form a bridge of magical influence over forces within the universe. Magic is the art of participation, and the participatory art of communion with the forces around and within us. The celebrated anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski argues that every person, no matter how primitive, uses both magic and science.2 Magical practices and religious observances are so similar in their approach in that they both employ the manipulation of symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. Similarly, both magic and religion often serve the same function in a society. The difference is that magic is more about the personal connection with non-material forces, and the power of individual gnosis. In contrast, religion serves to connect both the individual and the community to a prescribed godhead through faith.

Magic in its original form is a practical extension of natural philosophy. Through observation and experimentation it sought to study, and then engage with, the hidden forces of Nature. It also sought for an understanding of the relations – the correspondences – between the macrocosm and the microcosm; that is, the ‘As Above, So Below’ communion as expressed through the Hermetic Arts. In this sense, magic can also be viewed as an amalgamation of science and religion (from Latin religare – to bind). That is, science seeks to understand whilst the religious impulse seeks to bind the human to the greater cosmic forces. Magic was a merging of the natural world with the human spirit. The investigation of Nature’s secrets, of the cosmic mysteries, was a spiritual quest long before it became seen as a scientific endeavour. As Giambattista della Porta, the 16th century Italian philosopher wrote, magic is ‘nothing else but the survey of the whole course of Nature.’3

The Renaissance zeitgeist, and especially its magical adherents and practitioners, experienced the world, the universe, in which they lived as a thriving intelligence, and not just as an intellectual idea. For them, art itself was a form and expression of magic; a means of channelling the secret patterns and energies of the cosmos into the world of matter. The famous German occultist and theologian Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486 – 1535) referred to magic as ‘the most perfect and chief Science, that sacred and sublimer kind of Phylosophy [philosophy]’4 The early Renaissance philosopher Marsilio Ficino wrote that ‘The whole power of magic consists in love. The work of magic is the attraction of one thing by another because of a certain affinity of nature.’5 For Ficino, natural magic reflected a desire to animate human life with the living spirit of the cosmos. Magic then was a means for humanity to align itself with the living intelligence of the cosmos and to be able to receive its enhancing energies. In other words, it was a kind of cosmic connection and download. And when Arabic numerals (representing the Hindu-Arabic numeral system) – now our modern numbers – entered Europe from mainly Arabic thinkers, writers, and speakers they were adopted quickly by western occultists. In time these ‘uncanny squiggles’ came to replace the orderly roman numerals so beloved by government bureaucracy. The vital and dynamic era of renaissance magic was necessary in laying the foundations for the new Scientific Revolution of the 17th century.

In the 20th century the concept of magic was given bad press by its association with black magic, and the public rise of the ‘black magicians’ (or those of the Left-Hand Path). The most infamous of these was the Englishman Aleister Crowley, who preferred the spelling of magick. Yet despite his much-beloved public displays of anti-social eccentricity and taboo-breaking lewdness, he was a man of deep insight into magical operations. When communicating on a more profound level he would declare the true definition of magic as being ‘the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will.’ That is, Crowley used a form of mental and mystical/ spiritual discipline in order to train the mind to achieve greater focus to commune and participate with the non-material forces of the cosmos.

Even today various forms of magical practices have become merged with accepted psychological principles and are utilized to promote techniques for personal development. For example, the visualization techniques once widely used in magical operations are nowadays often put to use in such diverse areas as clinical psychology and sports training. Many forms of modern recreational health practices, such as yoga, tai chi, yiquan, and qigong, are based on a series of body posture, breathing, and meditation techniques that connect with the underlying energetic force/energy prevalent in the cosmic matrix that surrounds us and in which we are embedded. After all, magic is little more than the application of one’s own soul-self, our integral unity, with the cosmos. In other times this would be seen as mystical, magical, and mysterious. And now it is part of the world we are living in as the sacred revival rears its head from the non-visible to the visible plane once again.

Magic too can be viewed as being indistinguishable from our art, whether we are talking of painting, writing, music, sculpture, or any other form. Also, the word ‘technology’, which comes from the Greek word tekhne, means art or the ‘science of craft’ but not directly the application of science. Yet whether we are talking about magic, technology, art, or science, in the end it is all about the same thing – the exploratory path to knowledge and understanding. And this quest for understanding includes, and often merges, all such forms and pathways. We can say it all constitutes parts of the same body, just dressed up in different rags according to context, time and culture.

Magic as Science and Technology

It is my view that science and magic are manifestations of the same phenomena. There is more than one path – one ‘science’ – in persuading the cosmos to open up and reveal its secrets. Science did not overthrow magic, it emerged from it. The beginnings of empiricism were rooted in the magical tradition. It is now well understood that modern chemistry materialized from practical alchemy (al-kimiya). Many practising alchemists – from Paracelsus to Isaac Newton – were employing empirical methods with natural magic. The shift in applications went hand in hand with a changing worldview. Applied science was yet another avenue to gain access to and command the secret forces of the cosmos. What we consider as barbaric and primitive from the past will similarly stigmatize the current methods of our day from a future perspective. We cannot, it seems, escape the trap of being victims of our time.

The underlying basis of science derives from the convictions of the earliest natural (magic) philosophers such as Plato and Pythagoras. Namely, that our apparent changeable world adheres to certain laws that can be applied to external formulae. Is searching for the Higgs boson – as the quantum excitation of the Higgs field – any different from magical correspondences with non-visible fields of force? Perhaps applied science then is our modern name for the magical pursuit of eternal truths?

The flame of magical enquiry was also dampened by the rise of religious fervour and cries of heresy. Occult philosophy increasingly found itself confronted by allegations and rumours of demonic flirtation amid the rise of witch trials and mass suspicion (or hysteria). As C.S. Lewis pointed out, the great renaissance magic was discredited less by science than from a general ‘darkening of the human imagination.’6 Perhaps there is no greater symbolic end to the magical enterprise than the public burning of Giordano Bruno in Rome in 1600. After the demise of renaissance magic the human imagination did not rise to such heights again until the Romantics, or the depths of the human psyche so probed until depth psychology. The new struggle of the human mind was now with the rise of scientific thinking.

Heliocentricity, the understanding that the planets revolve around the sun, came to symbolize the great scientific revolution and the step from the medieval mind into early modernity. Our scientists now scorn and smirk at the religious thinking that once placed the earth at the centre of the ‘divine’ universe – and yet today, centuries on, we know little else. Our neighbouring planets are gas giants or oddly pock-marked balls of rock that remain as enigmas. Sun-flares and coronial mass ejections disrupt our communications and continue to intrigue and baffle us. Dark matter is a mystery that is estimated to constitute 84.5% of the total matter in the universe. Dark matter plus dark energy together constitute 95.1% of the total mass–energy content of the universe, and we don’t know what it is. The universe is singular, then it’s multiple, or parallel; it’s held together by strings, or it’s connected multi-dimensionally, or is a holographic projection from a quantum matrix beyond space-time, etc, etc. We may indeed be in a stage of modernity, or rather just a later period of medieval-ness. Or maybe, like our philosophical Greek and Arab predecessors, we merely like the fun of being able to ‘entertain contradictory world-views simultaneously.’7 As Patrick Harpur astutely observes,

…whatever we suppress gathers in the unconscious and throws a ‘shadow’ over the world. Dark matter is precisely the shadow of the imaginative fullness we have denied to our cosmos. The daimons we cannot bring ourselves to admit return as dark ‘virtual particles’. Like the psychological shadow, dark matter’s massive invisible presence exerts an unconscious influence on the conscious universe.8

Renaissance thought and the medieval mind accepted the existence of the world soul – the anima mundi – where all things were connected by an underlying soul/force. Modern science banished the soul from roaming the world, and replaced it by the tick-tock of mechanistic laws. The technical inventions of renaissance science – its clocks, telescopes, and compasses – no doubt assisted to dissolve belief in the world soul and its system of correspondences. New correlations, connections, and correspondences were derived by technical means, by materialized devices. And yet our high technologies of today are turning this situation around by de-materializing themselves and merging into our environment and our bodies. Perhaps the coming era of high technology re-constitutes a new chimera of the world soul. I will return to this question later in the book.

Broadly speaking, technology can be defined as those means and devices, both material and immaterial, which allow a greater degree of manipulation over one’s environment. Their use also achieves a degree of value for the user. It has often been said that the human species’ use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. The prehistoric discovery of how to control fire is frequently cited as one of the first widespread uses of a technology. Whatever definition we choose to use the essential feature is that technologies materialize magic – they make the once-magic happen. They bring the sights of the seer into the human eye (telescope), transport telepathic communication (phone), create occult harm at a distance (weapons), delve into the mystic heart of the body (microscope), and project our imaginations and otherworlds into image (television/video). Technologies are an extension of magic by other means.

In this day and age we are moving further into the world of image. We have always been fed images of the world that are not. We live in a world of representations; we dance with the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave. We exist in a world that, as Plato would say, is construed from representations of Eternal Forms. And then we take a further step back as we live in cultures that use symbols and images to relate the represented world to us. We are thus even further away from the Real. There is little wonder then that our souls often feel under-nourished. In response they long for, and seek out, the sacred, the eternal, and the bridge to the real: the phenomenal is the bridge to the real (Sufi saying).

Because the Scientific Revolution put the emphasis upon the quantifying eye, the visual aspect became a validating tool of empirical reality. What we could witness became a legitimate part of our truths – ‘seeing is believing’ as they say. What was seen at the end of the telescope or microscope became a new fact to add to the expanding artefacts of facts we kept accumulating. We began to trust too much in what the human eye, and its technological appendices, could see. The eye became a dominant lens for seeking truth within the new paradigm of modern science. This was not the case with our ancestors, who relied much more on a close range of senses, especially touch and smell, as well as a heightened sense of instinct. Because they formed more of a participatory bond with the world around them they did not distance themselves like we do today by viewing the world in terms of object and subject. That is why in modern terminology we refer to the observer effect whereby the act of observation can influence, or make a change, upon the phenomenon being observed.

Quantum physics tells us that through measurement, or rather observation, quantum energy ‘collapses’ into a particle or wave function. And yet this terminology is misleading as it uses the older vocabulary which stipulated the human eye as a validating tool of empirical reality. It is a fallacy of how we understand sight and observation. We don’t observe particles or phenomena at a distance – we are already participating in their existence. The observer effect should really be changed to saying the participatory effect. Consciousness is a participatory phenomenon. In our known reality, we participate in a conscious universe where, according to the Hermetic saying, the centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere. There is no better place for the Hermetic arts and the quantum realm to meet than in the magic of alchemy. This archaic science is the crossroads where science, magic, and the spirit meet. On the material level it is seen as a long series of precise and laborious scientific experimentation in order to transmute base metals (such as lead) into gold. It is a play with chemical composition and atomic arrangements; a form of molecular management and interference. However, upon the spiritual plane it is a major magical and mystical arcane participation with non-visible forces that bind the material world beyond our known sciences. Perhaps the most well-known, and revealing, brief encounter and explanation of this process occurred in the 20th century. According to the now infamous meeting with the mysterious alchemist Fulcanelli in June 1937, in a laboratory of the Gas Board in Paris, the chemical engineer Jacques Bergier was warned about efforts to create the atomic bomb. Jacques Bergier was given a message by Fulcanelli to pass on to the noted French atomic physicist André Helbronner. Allegedly Bergier was told that:

The secret of alchemy is this: there is a way of manipulating matter and energy so as to produce what modern scientists call ‘a field of force.’ The field acts on the observer and puts him in a privileged position vis-à-vis the Universe. From this position he has access to the realities which are ordinarily hidden from us by time and space, matter and energy. This is what we call the Great Work.9

The Great Work, it would seem, involves the participatory mind of human consciousness interacting with a specific field of force that produces a view/perception of the universe. This appears to be a form of the quantum observer/participatory effect yet on an intentioned and conscious level – a form of consciously arranged quantumly entangled perception? This view correlates somewhat with the words of famed theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler:

The universe does not exist ‘out there’ independent of us. We are inescapably bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators. In some strange sense this is a participatory universe.10

Our cosmos is set up for cognitive participation, which is why we should realize that whenever we attempt to observe or describe reality, what we are actually doing is participating and thus influencing, or interfering, with it. Our own conscious thoughts are more powerful and non-visible tools than we realize. In this regard, the ‘principle of cognitive participation is replacing the principle of objectivity.’11

Moreover, another way of re-phrasing the deceptive ‘wave collapse’ is to refer to it as coming into being. What is taking place is a quantum act of creation. The underlying quantum energy landscape of our cosmos is an energetic playing field of participatory creation. It is the ancient Egyptian divine archetype Heka, the spiritualizing force that is the conscious, animating energy of the cosmos. The quantum realm is the magical realm, where through participation the enquiring human mind proposes new hypotheses that then gets projected into the underlying energy matrix which has the potential to conjure them into reality. We could call this the Higgs Boson Effect, whereby we actually form a participatory relation to the physical manifestations of our own projections. The Higgs Boson – also somewhat ironically referred to as the ‘God Particle’ – was first proposed by a team of physicists in 1964 (and not just one guy called Higgs!). Several other physicists from the 1960s onwards also speculated and hypothesized on the Higgs Field effect. This enquiry led to a forty year search within the international physics community and eventually culminated in the construction of the world’s most expensive experimental test facility and the largest single machine in the world – the CERN Large Hadron Collider.12 After many experiments and independently verified research CERN announced on 14th March 2013 that there were strong indications that the Higgs boson had been found. It was what they had been looking for all along. And finally, after much mental focusing and scientific ritual, with instruments and precise application, a phenomenon materialized into reality. Maybe this is a good time to recap Aleister Crowley’s definition of magic – the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will. Was not then the discovery of the Higgs Boson an act of magic, after all? Perhaps it will go down in history as one of the most complex, community-led, conjuring tricks in the annals of science. Or maybe it will just be seen as yet another proof that the scientific method works. This would show, yet again, that the universe exists upon a set of static fundamental laws that are just in need of discovery.

It would be heresy to speculate that our quantum-matrix reality actually responds to sentient thought and creates – forms into being – material representations of willed projections. If this were the case, then it would be a big secret indeed. So big, in fact, that it would need to be kept hidden from untrained minds who, ignorantly, could set into motion a wave of material phenomenon of destructive and chaotic consequences. Such potential power, if it existed, would likely need to be placed in quarantine until such a time whereby it could be used for the greater good. Luckily for us though it is only speculation.

Similar speculations have occurred elsewhere too, such as in our popular culture. One example is the science-fiction story by Stanislaw Lem called ‘Solaris,’ which was later visualized hypnotically in Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 film version.13 In Lem’s story, the protagonists of a research space station are investigating an alien intelligence that is the oceanic sentient planet of Solaris. However, the sentient planet is in turn probing into the minds of the human researchers and investigating them. In this process the planet is able to respond by materializing thoughts, memories, and desires that are deep within the human mind. In this way each scientist is forced to confront those aspects that they have mentally hidden away. By encountering an unknown and alien energetic entity, mental processes are able to be projected into a material reality. The sentient ocean of Solaris could be taken as a metaphor for the quantum ocean/field that is increasingly recognized today as a consciousness field.14

Whilst this may seem like magic to us, for the ancestral pre-modern mind the real magic was the spiritualizing force that animates the entire cosmos. Animation – the bringing to life – is a spiritualizing sacred force, and it is magic. And that is why the sacred revival is all about magic: the magic of how we create into being our soul-life and project it into the world in which we participate. Genuine magic is the science and art of the participatory mind to commune with the cosmos and manifest our deepest will into materiality. Magic is the spiritualizing force that animates the human soul, and which communes with the soul of the world, the anima mundi. We have also hidden this magic within our sciences, our technologies, and within our human memories and emotions; and yet it is the pervasive force which entangles us all together and from which the immaterial becomes material.

We are finally regaining the understanding through the new sciences that our knowledge is not discovered or given to us but are part of the reality that is being continually created by us. Our penetration into the participatory cosmos is part of a grander unfolding where everything is evolving; and so too are our perceptions of the sacred source evolving as well. The sacred revival is about re-animating our relationship to this profound, spiritual truth.


New Particles Discovered at LHC

Never-Before-Seen Particles Discovered at Swiss Collider

David Hamilton Explaining the Higgs Boson

What is the Higgs Boson?

David R. Hamilton PhD
a message from David R. Hamilton PhD
Thursday, 12 July, 2012  (posted 27 July, 2012)

Quite a few people have asked me about the Higgs Boson – or ‘God’ particle, as it’s been named – that was discovered at CERN recently. They have asked what it is and what it means for us.

The Higgs boson is a particle that gives most other particles mass.  OK, that might not mean much so let me explain it a little differently.

You can actually think of it as a field of energy and that’s an ideal analogy for how I need to explain what it is.

It’s a bit like a swimming pool that objects have to pass through. Say you had a steel ball and a dustbin lid and you had to drag both through the swimming pool. Which do you think would be easiest? The steel ball, of course! The dustbin lid would have a much greater drag factor.

The drag factor is the ‘Mass’ (or weight if that is easier to think about). The swimming pool is the Higgs field and it exerts a drag on all other particles, which mostly accounts for the differences in their masses. The Higgs boson might be thought of as a droplet of water in the swimming pool.

There’s another way you could think about it. Let’s say you have Usain Bolt, the world record holder for the 100 metres sprint (9.58 seconds) and a much less famous sprinter. Usain is much more famous so if the two sprinters walked side by side through Trafalgar Square in London, Usain would get mobbed by people, slowing down his walk. The less famous sprinter would walk right through, virtually unimpeded. You would say that Usain had greater ‘mass’. The people are the Higgs bosons and they weigh Usain down as they interact with him.

So what does that mean for you and me?

If it wasn’t for the Higgs boson most elementary particles (like quarks – that we are made of) wouldn’t have any mass and we would just be a mish-mash of particles floating in the universe, devoid of form. You wouldn’t exist, and neither would the planet Earth or the Sun. It’s kind of why some people call it the ‘God’ particle (although most physicists don’t really like the term).

So for the ordinary person it doesn’t really change anything. You exist now, partly because of the Higgs boson just as you did a few days before it was discovered. Life goes on and you’ll enjoy your morning coffee just as you did before Peter Higgs even thought up the concept of that particular boson.

It’s absolutely not the end of physics. There are still many mysteries to be probed. The Higgs boson could turn out to be not exactly as it was thought and could actually be made of smaller bits. No one knows yet. It might even by a scientific gateway that leads physicists into the search for weird new physics and even different dimensions of space and time. I think it’s all really exciting. It’s the beginning of something new!

So if you want to explain to people what the Higgs Boson is, either you can use the simple descriptions above, or you can cut it down to this simple joke:

A Higgs boson walks into a church. The priest says, ‘What are you doing in here?’ The Higgs boson replies, ‘You can’t have mass without me!’


Possible Discovery of The God Particle


Physicists Ecstatic Over Possible Higgs Particle Discovery

Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managing Editor
Date: 04 July 2012
This track is an example of simulated data modelled for the ATLAS detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The Higgs boson is produced in the collision of two protons at 14 TeV and quickly decays into four muons, a type of heavy electron that
This track is an example of simulated data modelled for the ATLAS detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The Higgs boson is produced in the collision of two protons at 14 TeV and quickly decays into four muons, a type of heavy electron that is not absorbed by the detector. The tracks of the muons are shown in yellow.

Physicists are thrilled at today’s (July 4) announcement of the discovery of a new elementary particle that is likely the Higgs boson, an elusive particle thought to give all other matter its mass.

“To me it’s really an incredible thing that it’s happened in my lifetime,” Peter Higgs, the leader of the group that first theorized the particle in 1964 and after whom the particle is named, said during a press conference Wednesday (July 4).

Evidence for the new particle was reported today by scientists from the world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. Researchers reported they’d seen a particle weighing roughly 125 times the mass of the proton, with a level of certainty that all but seals the deal it’s the Higgs boson. The Higgs represents the last undiscovered particle predicted by the Standard Model, the reigning theory of particle physics

Physicists involved in two experiments called CMS and ATLAS taking place at the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), reported evidence of the particle at a seminar and press briefing today.

“As a layman I would say ‘We have it,’ but as a scientist I would have to say ‘What do we have?’ We have discovered a boson and now we have to discover what kind of boson it is,” CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said during the press briefing. [Top 5 Implications of Finding the Higgs Boson]

Even so, elation abounded with loud applause after the seminar talks.

Physicists at the CERN lab in Switzerland applaud news of the discovery of a new particle, likely the Higgs boson, July 4, 2012.

“It is a momentous event and I am proud to be living in these historic times. Our 40-year quest for solving a puzzle is almost ending,” Brown University professor of physics Meenakshi Narain told LiveScience. “Now we have to find out if this new particle really is the Higgs of the Standard Model or has properties which deviate from standard expectations and if there are other new particles to be discovered.”

Narain added in an email, “Our work is just beginning! It is a great leap for human kind and basic science.”

“We have been propelled to the future of particle physics towards the understanding of the fundamental properties of our universe in its entirety,” Caltech physicist Maria Spiropulu, who was in the audience at the LHC announcement, told LiveScience in an email.

Even Twitter was abuzz with terms such as #Higgs, #ICHEP2012, #CERN, Fabiola Gianotti and Joe Incandela (the names of the two scientists who presented the ATLAS and CMS findings, respectively) trending.

“5 sigma from CMS! Incredible!” tweeted @lirarandall, Harvard University theoretical physicist Lisa Randall, referring to results from two decay modes.

(To be certain they’ve made a true discovery and weren’t just seeing a fluke, physicists need to reach a level of significance of 5 sigma, which means there is only a one in 3.5 million chance the signal isn’t real. The ATLAS and CMS results reached sigma levels of 5 and 4.9, respectively.)

“The world might not change but my world (and that of a few others) certainly has,” Randall tweeted.

“This is a crucial first step in understanding mass and gravity. We have a long, long way to go. But wow, what a step. #Higgs,” tweeted @BadAstronomer Phil Plait, astronomer and author.

“We find it. WE FIND IT. Now I can cry #Higgs #Discovery,” tweeted @marcodelmastro, Marco Delmastro, LHC physicist and ATLAS researcher.


Latest on Search for Higgs Boson

Tevatron experiments report latest results in search for Higgs boson

March 7, 2012

Tevatron experiments report latest results in search for Higgs bosonEnlargeObserved and expected exclusion limits for a Standard Model Higgs boson at the 95-percent confidence level for the combined CDF and DZero analyses. The limits are expressed as multiples of the SM prediction for test masses chosen every 5 GeV/c2 in the range of 100 to 200 GeV/c2. The points are joined by straight lines for better readability. The yellow and green bands indicate the 68- and 95-percent probability regions, in the absence of a signal.The difference between the observed and expected limits around 124 GeV could be explained by the presense of a Higgs boson whose mass would lie between 115 to 135 GeV. The CDF and DZero data exclude a Higgs boson between 147 and 179 GeV/c2 at the 95-percent confidence level.

( — New measurements announced today by scientists from the CDF and DZero collaborations at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory indicate that the elusive Higgs boson may nearly be cornered. After analyzing the full data set from the Tevatron accelerator, which completed its last run in September 2011, the two independent experiments see hints of a Higgs boson.  

Physicists from the CDF and DZero collaborations found excesses in their data that might be interpreted as coming from a  with a mass in the region of 115 to 135 GeV. In this range, the new result has a probability of being due to a statistical fluctuation at level of significance known among scientists as 2.2 sigma. This new result also excludes the possibility of the Higgs having a mass in the range from 147 to 179 GeV.

Physicists claim evidence of a new particle only if the probability that the data could be due to a statistical fluctuation is less than 1 in 740, or three sigmas. A discovery is claimed only if that probability is less than 1 in 3.5 million, or five sigmas.

This result sits well within the stringent constraints established by earlier direct and indirect measurements made by CERN’s , the Tevatron, and other accelerators, which place the mass of the Higgs boson within the range of 115 to 127 GeV. These findings are also consistent with the December 2011 announcement of excesses seen in that range by LHC experiments, which searched for the Higgs in different decay patterns. None of the hints announced so far from the Tevatron or LHC experiments, however, are strong enough to claim evidence for the Higgs boson.

“The end game is approaching in the hunt for the Higgs boson,” said Jim Siegrist, DOE Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics. “This is an important milestone for the Tevatron experiments, and demonstrates the continuing importance of independent  in the quest to understand the building blocks of nature.”

Physicists from the CDF and DZero experiments made the announcement at the annual conference on Electroweak Interactions and Unified Theories known as Rencontres de Moriond in Italy. This is the latest result in a decade-long search by teams of physicists at the Tevatron.

“I am thrilled with the pace of progress in the hunt for the Higgs boson. CDF and DZero scientists from around the world have pulled out all the stops to reach this very nice and important contribution to the Higgs boson search,” said Fermilab Director Pier Oddone. “The two collaborations independently combed through hundreds of trillions of proton-antiproton collisions recorded by their experiments to arrive at this exciting result.”

Higgs bosons, if they exist, are short-lived and can decay in many different ways. Just as a vending machine might return the same amount of change using different combinations of coins, the Higgs can decay into different combinations of particles. Discovering the Higgs boson relies on observing a statistically significant excess of the particles into which the Higgs decays and those particles must have corresponding kinematic properties that allow for the mass of the Higgs to be reconstructed.

“There is still much work ahead before the scientific community can say for sure whether the Higgs boson exists,” said Dmitri Denisov, DZero co-spokesperson and physicist at Fermilab. “Based on these exciting hints, we are working as quickly as possible to further improve our analysis methods and squeeze the last ounce out of Tevatron data.”

Only high-energy particle colliders such as the Tevatron and LHC can recreate the energy conditions found in the universe shortly after the Big Bang. According to the , the theory that explains and predicts how nature’s building blocks behave and interact with each other, the Higgs boson gives mass to other particles.

“Without something like the Higgs boson giving fundamental particles mass, the whole world around us would be very different from what we see today,” said Giovanni Punzi, CDF co-spokesperson and physicist at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, or INFN, in Pisa, Italy. “Physicists have known for a long time that the Higgs or something like it must exist, and we are eager to finally pin this phenomenon down and start learning more about it.”

If a Higgs boson is created in a high-energy particle collision, it immediately decays into lighter more stable particles before even the world’s best detectors and fastest computers can snap a picture of it. To find the Higgs boson, physicists retraced the path of these secondary particles and ruled out processes that mimic its signal.

The experiments at the Tevatron and the LHC offer a complementary search strategy for the Higgs boson. The Tevatron was a proton/anti-proton collider, with a maximum center of mass energy of 2 TeV, whereas the LHC is a proton/proton collider that will ultimately reach 14 TeV. Because the two accelerators collide different pairs of particles at different energies and produce different types of backgrounds, the search strategies are different. At the Tevatron, for example, the most powerful method is to search the CDF and DZero datasets to look for a Higgs boson that decays into a pair of bottom quarks if the Higgs boson mass is approximately 115-130 GeV. It is crucial to observe the Higgs boson in several types of decay modes because the Standard Model predicts different branching ratios for different decay modes. If these ratios are observed, then this is experimental confirmation of both the Standard Model and the Higgs.

“The search for the Higgs boson by the Tevatron and LHC experiments is like two people taking a picture of a park from different vantage points,” said Gregorio Bernardi, DZero co-spokesperson at the Nuclear Physics Laboratory of the High Energies, or LPNHE, in Paris . “One picture may show a child that is blocked from the other’s view by a tree. Both pictures may show the child but only one can resolve the child’s features. You need to combine both viewpoints to get a true picture of who is in the park. At this point both pictures are fuzzy and we think maybe they show someone in the park. Eventually the LHC with future data samples will be able to give us a sharp picture of what is there. The Tevatron by further improving its analyses will also sharpen the picture which is emerging today.”

This new updated analysis uses 10 inverse femtobarns of data from both CDF and DZero, the full data set collected from 10 years of the Tevatron’s collider program. Ten inverse femtobarns of data represents about 500 trillion proton-antiproton collisions. Data analysis will continue at both experiments.

“This result represents years of work from hundreds of scientists around the world,” said Rob Roser,  co-spokesperson and physicist at Fermilab. “But we are not done yet – together with our LHC colleagues, we expect 2012 to be the year we know whether the Higgs exists or not, and assuming it is discovered, we will have first indications that it behaves as predicted by the Standard Model.”

Check out the source for more information and a video:






Finding the Higgs Particle

Long-Sought Higgs Particle Cornered, Scientists Say

Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 13 December 2011 Time: 08:52 AM ET
Particle collision tracks at LHC
A typical candidate event at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), including two high-energy photons whose energy (depicted by red towers) is measured in the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter. The yellow lines are the measured tracks of other particles produced in the collision. The pale blue volume shows the CMS crystal calorimeter barrel.

Physicists are closer than ever to hunting down the elusive Higgs boson particle, the missing piece of the governing theory of the universe’s tiniest building blocks.

Scientists at the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, announced today (Dec. 13) that they’d narrowed down the list of possible hiding spots for the Higgs, (sometimes called the God particle) and even see some indications that they’re hot on its trail.

“I think we are getting very close,” said Vivek Sharma, a physicist at the University of California, San Diego, and the leader of the Higgs search at LHC’s CMS experiment. “We may be getting the first tantalizing hints, but it’s a whiff, it’s a smell, it’s not quite the whole thing.”

Today’s announcement was highly anticipated by both the physics community and the public, with speculation running rampant in the days leading up to it that the elusive particle may have finally been found. Though the news is not the final answer some were hoping for, the progress is a significant, exciting step, physicists say. [Top 5 Implications of Finding the Higgs Boson]

“It’s something really extraordinary and I think we can be all proud of this,” said CERN physicist Fabiola Gianotti, spokesperson for the LHC’s ATLAS experiment, during a public seminar announcing the results today.

Experts outside the LHC collaborations agreed.

“These are really tough experiments, and it’s just really impressive what they’re doing,” Harvard University theoretical physicist Lisa Randall told LiveScience.

Physicists at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland view a presentation of the data collected so far in the search for the Higgs boson particle at the Large Hadron Collider's ATLAS experiment.
Physicists at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland view a presentation of thedata collected so far in the search for the Higgs boson particle at the Large Hadron Collider’s ATLAS experiment.

Origin of mass

The Higgs boson is thought to be tied to a field (the Higgs field) that is responsible for giving all other particles their mass. Ironically, physicists don’t have a specific prediction for the mass of the Higgs boson itself, so they must search a wide range of possible masses for signs of the particle.

Based on data collected at LHC’s CMS and ATLAS experiments, researchers said they are now able to narrow down the Higgs’ mass to a small range, and exclude a wide swath of possibilities.

“With the data from this year we’ve ruled out a lot of masses, and now we’re just left with this tiny window, in this region that is probably the most interesting,” said Jonas Strandberg, a researcher at CERN working on the ATLAS experiment.

The researchers have now cornered the Higgs mass in the range between 115 and 130 gigaelectronvolts (GeV).For comparison, a proton weighs 1 GeV. Outside that range, the scientists are more than 95 percent confident that the Higgs cannot exist.

Within that range, the ATLAS findings show some indications of a possible signal from the Higgs boson around 125 GeV, though the data are not strong enough for scientists to make a claim with the level of confidence they require for a true discovery.

The CMS experiment also showed preliminary indications of a signal around that spot.

This plot shows the data collected so far by the Large Hadron Collider's ATLAS experiment in the search for the Higgs boson particle.
This plot shows the data collected so far by the Large Hadron Collider’s ATLAS experiment in the search for the Higgs boson particle.

“The excess is most compatible with a Standard Model Higgs in the vicinity of 124 GeV and below, but the statistical significance is not large enough to say anything conclusive,” CMS experiment spokesperson Guido Tonelli said in a statement. “As of today what we see is consistent either with a background fluctuation or with the presence of the boson. Refined analyses and additional data delivered in 2012 by this magnificent machine will definitely give an answer.”

Proceed with caution

Ultimately, scientists said they were excited by the LHC’s findings so far, but that it’s too soon to celebrate.

“Please be prudent,” said CERN director general Rolf-Dieter Heuer. “We have not found it yet, we have not excluded it yet. Stay tuned.”

The fact that the independent studies conducted by ATLAS and CMS appear to be pointing in the same direction is particularly promising, experts said.

“Based on the predicted size of the signal, the experiments may have their first glimpse of a positive signal,” University of Chicago physicist Jim Pilcher wrote in an email to LiveScience. “It is especially important to compare the results of two independent experiments to help reduce statistical fluctuations and experimental biases.”

But it shouldn’t be much longer before scientists can be sure if the Higgs exists, and if so, how much mass it has.

“We know we must be getting close,” Strandberg told LiveScience. “All we need is a little bit more data. I think the data we take in 2012 should be able to really give a definitive answer if the Higgs boson exists.”

Underground explosions

The Large Hadron Collider is a 17-mile (27-kilometer) loop buried underneath France and Switzerland, run by CERN, based in Geneva.

Inside this loop, protons traveling near the speed of light collide head-on, and release huge amounts of energy in powerful explosions.

This energy then coalesces into new particles, some of which are exotic, hard-to-find species like the Higgs. The Higgs quickly decays into other particle products, which are then sensed by the detectors inside ATLAS and CMS. [6 Exotic Particles Explained]

The new results are based on data accumulated over 500 trillion proton-proton collisions inside the LHC.

Big payoff

The Higgs boson and its related Higgs field were predicted in 1964 by physicist Peter Higgs and his colleagues. Though the Higgs mechanism is the best explanation for why particles have mass, it can’t be trusted until its major prediction — the Higgs boson — is found. [Infographic: The Higgs Boson]

“It would be a major discovery, absolutely,” said Randall, who is the author of a recent book covering the Higgs and other particle mysteries called “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World” (Ecco, 2011). “We’ve known about the Higgs mechanism for years, but we don’t know if it’s right.”

The discovery of the Higgs would offer final credence to the idea and its originators.

“If it is found there are several people who are going to get a Nobel prize,” said Vivek Sharma, a physicist at the University of California, San Diego, and the leader of the Higgs search at LHC’s CMS experiment.


Latest on Higgs Boson at the LHC

Possible Hints of Higgs Boson Remain in Latest Analyses, Physicists Say

ScienceDaily (Dec. 13, 2011) — Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider have nearly eliminated the space in which the Higgs boson could dwell, scientists announced in a seminar held at CERN Dec. 13. However, the ATLAS and CMS experiments see modest excesses in their data that could soon uncover the famous missing piece of the physics puzzle.

Simulated production of a Higgs event in ATLAS. This track is an example of simulated data modeled for the ATLAS detector on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. (Credit: Image courtesy 

The experiments revealed the latest results as part of their regular report to the CERN Council, which provides oversight for the laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.

Theorists have predicted that some subatomic particles gain mass by interacting with other particles called Higgs bosons. The Higgs boson is the only undiscovered part of the Standard Model of physics, which describes the basic building blocks of matter and their interactions.

The experiments’ main conclusion is that the Standard Model Higgs boson, if it exists, is most likely to have a mass constrained to the range 116-130 GeV by the ATLAS experiment, and 115-127 GeV by CMS. Tantalising hints have been seen by both experiments in this mass region, but these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery.

Higgs bosons, if they exist, are short-lived and can decay in many different ways. Just as a vending machine might return the same amount of change using different combinations of coins, the Higgs can decay into different combinations of particles. Discovery relies on observing statistically significant excesses of the particles into which they decay rather than observing the Higgs itself. Both ATLAS and CMS have analysed several decay channels, and the experiments see small excesses in the low mass region that has not yet been excluded.

Taken individually, none of these excesses is any more statistically significant than rolling a die and coming up with two sixes in a row. What is interesting is that there are multiple independent measurements pointing to the region of 124 to 126 GeV. It’s far too early to say whether ATLAS and CMS have discovered the Higgs boson, but these updated results are generating a lot of interest in the particle physics community.

Hundreds of scientists from U.S. universities and institutions are heavily involved in the search for the Higgs boson at LHC experiments, said CMS physicist Boaz Klima of the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago. “U.S. scientists are definitely in the thick of things in all aspects and at all levels,” he said.

More than 1,600 scientists, students, engineers and technicians from more than 90 U.S. universities and five U.S. national laboratories take part in the CMS and ATLAS experiments, the vast majority via an ultra-high broadband network that delivers LHC data to researchers at universities and national laboratories across the nation. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation provide support for U.S. participation in these experiments. Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is the host laboratory for the U.S. contingent on the CMS experiment, while Brookhaven National Laboratory hosts the U.S. ATLAS collaboration.

Over the coming months, both the CMS and ATLAS experiments will focus on refining their analyses in time for the winter particle physics conferences in March. The experiments will resume taking data in spring 2012.

“We’ve now analyzed all or most of the data taken in 2011 in some of the most important Higgs search analyses,” said ATLAS physicist Rik Yoshida of Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. “I think everybody’s very surprised and pleased at the pace of progress.”

Higgs-hunting scientists on experiments at U.S. particle accelerator the Tevatron will also present results in March.

Discovering the type of Higgs boson predicted in the Standard Model would confirm a theory first put forward in the 1960s.

Even if the experiments find a particle where they expect to find the Higgs, it will take more analysis and more data to prove it is a Standard Model Higgs. If scientists found subtle departures from the Standard Model in the particle’s behavior, this would point to the presence of new physics, linked to theories that go beyond the Standard Model. Observing a non-Standard Model Higgs, currently beyond the reach of the LHC experiments with the data they’ve recorded so far, would immediately open the door to new physics.

Another possibility, discovering the absence of a Standard Model Higgs, would point to new physics at the LHC’s full design energy, set to be achieved after 2014. Whether ATLAS and CMS show over the coming months that the Standard Model Higgs boson exists or not, the LHC program is closing in on new discoveries.

News of Higgs Boson Soon?

Could a Higgs boson announcement be imminent from the LHC?

05 December 11

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider could be getting an early Christmas present: the Higgs boson. According to the latest rumours, scientists at the LHC are seeing a signal that could correspond to a Higgs particle with a mass of 125 GeV (a proton is slightly less than 1 GeV).

Public talks are scheduled to discuss the latest results from Atlas and CMS, two of the main LHC experiments, on 13 December. This follows one day after a closed-door Cern council meeting where officials will get a short preview of the findings, whatever they may be.

“Chances are high (but not strictly 100%) that the talks will either announce a (de facto or de iure) discovery or some far-reaching exclusion that will be really qualitative and unexpected,” wrote theoretical physicist Lubos Motl on his blog.

Motl also mentioned that an internal email sent to the Cern community suggests that results on the elusive Higgs — which is required under the Standard Model of particle physics to provide mass to different particles — will be inconclusive. This could mean that the finding is below the five-sigma threshold needed to definitively declare a discovery in physics.

But if the rumours are true, and the Higgs has been seen at 125 GeV, it could bolster the idea that there is physics beyond the Standard Model that describes the behaviour of subatomic particles. A 125 GeV Higgs is lighter than predicted under the simplest models and would likely require more complex theories, such as supersymmetry, which posits the existence of a heavier partner to all known particle


Search for Higgs Boson Narrows Range

23 July 2011 Last updated at 10:39 ET

Large Hadron Collider results excite scientists

By Paul RinconScience reporter, BBC News, Grenoble

Atlas experiment (Cern)The Atlas experiment is one of two multi-purpose experiments at the LHC

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has picked up tantalising fluctuations which might – or might not – be hints of the sought-after Higgs boson particle.

But scientists stress caution over these “excess events”, because similar wrinkles have been detected before only to disappear after further analysis.

Either way, if the sub-atomic particle exists it is running out of places to hide, says the head of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern), which runs the LHC.

He told BBC News the collider had now ruled out more of the “mass range” where the Higgs might be.

The new results are based on analyses of data, gathered as the vast machine smashes beams of protons together at close to light speeds.