So far, the Higgs boson has remained elusive. Previously, scientists working at the Large Hardon Collider had predicted that they would either find it by the end of 2012 or not at all. Now, a spokesman for the LHC (yeah you know me) says that it’s very likely the search could conclude before Christmas of this year.
“We could discover the Standard Model version of the Higgs Boson or exclude it earlier than expected. Could we discover it by Christmas? In principle, yes,” said Professor Tonelli
The Higgs particle was postulated by physicists in 1964 to explain how other sub-atomic particles have mass, and remains the only major particle in the Standard Model, the dominant current theory of sub-atomic physics, yet to be observed. The collider is a giant accelerator machine housed in a 27km-long (17 miles) circular tunnel under the French-Swiss border. Two beams of proton particles are fired around this subterranean “ring” and smashed together at crossing points.
The physicists measure the number of collisions they see in units called “inverse femtobarns”, and were aiming to collect 5 inverse femtobarns’ worth of data by the end of 2012. But, said Professor Tonelli who speaks for LHC’s CMS experiment, the LHC has already collected 2.5 inverse femtobarns - the equivalent of 175,000 billion collisions. So in the space of a few months, the machine has collected half the data it was expected to collect in two years.