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Thread: The Next Step in the Search for the God Particle

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    The Next Step in the Search for the God Particle

    Since we've been talking a lot about faith, science and reason...scientists have believed based on evidence that this particle exists, but they can't yet prove it.

    Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will increase the energies of the bunches of subatomic particles called protons that it smashes together.

    The boost should improve the collider's chances of discovering "new physics" and definitively confirming or denying the existence of Higgs boson particle.

    The proton beams' energies will be increased by 14%, for a total collision energy of 8 trillion electron volts.

    The announced increase will break the LHC's own high-energy record.

    Since first switching on in 2008, operators at the LHC have cautiously increased the energy contained in each of the bunches of protons sent around the 27km collider, while lies beneath the Franco-Swiss border.

    The decision to turn up the energy when the collider switches on again later this year was taken at a conference about the LHC in Chamonix in France.

    "When we started operating the LHC for physics in 2010, we chose the lowest safe beam energy consistent with the physics we wanted to do," said Steve Myers, director for accelerators and technology at Cern, the laboratory that operates the LHC.

    I remember when they turned this thing on there was concern it could open a black hole. No one really knew what would happen. They've got particles traveling at 99.999999% of the speed of light. Amazing.

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    Red face

    Supersymmetry theory dealt a blow...

    Popular physics theory running out of hiding places
    12 November 2012 - Supersymmetry predicts the existence of enigmatic "super particles"
    Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider have detected one of the rarest particle decays seen in Nature. The finding deals a significant blow to the theory of physics known as supersymmetry. Many researchers had hoped the LHC would have confirmed this by now. Supersymmetry, or SUSY, has gained popularity as a way to explain some of the inconsistencies in the traditional theory of subatomic physics known as the Standard Model. The new observation, reported at the Hadron Collider Physics conference in Kyoto, is not consistent with many of the most likely models of SUSY.

    Prof Chris Parkes, who is the spokesperson for the UK Participation in the LHCb experiment, told BBC News: "Supersymmetry may not be dead but these latest results have certainly put it into hospital." Supersymmetry theorises the existence of more massive versions of particles that have already been detected. Their existence would help explain why galaxies appear to rotate faster than the Standard Model would suggest. Physicists have speculated that as well as the particles we know about, galaxies contain invisible, undetected dark matter made up of super particles. The galaxies therefore contain more mass than we can detect and so spin faster.

    Researchers at the LHCb detector have dealt a serious blow to this idea. They have measured the decay between a particle known as a Bs Meson into two particles known as muons. It is the first time that this decay has been observed and the team has calculated that for every billion times that the Bs Meson decays it only decays in this way three times. If superparticles were to exist the decay would happen far more often. This test is one of the "golden" tests for supersymmetry and it is one that on the face of it this hugely popular theory among physicists has failed. Prof Val Gibson, leader of the Cambridge LHCb team, said that the new result was "putting our supersymmetry theory colleagues in a spin".


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