Higgs boson would be responsible for the mass property of a quark, and to try and recreate it we need to recreate the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang, also known as the quark epoch.
The number three fitted perfectly the way quarks occur in nature, and the “three quarks for Muster Mark” phrase from Joyce’s Finnegans Wake seemed like an inspiration to Gell-Mann to name the subatomic particle – quark.
Far Beyond Human Perception
Experiments attempting to find the Higgs boson, that is, the colliders that tried to create the Higgs particle that would explain the quark’s mass were previously built and even closed in US, leaving the Large Hadron Collider in CERN as the only one used to locate Higgs.
From the CERN press release , they explain why finding Higgs is important:
“The Standard Model is the theory that physicists use to describe the behaviour of fundamental particles and the forces that act between them. It describes the ordinary matter from which we, and everything visible in the Universe, are made extremely well. Nevertheless, the Standard Model does not describe the 96% of the Universe that is invisible. One of the main goals of the LHC research programme is to go beyond the Standard Model, and the Higgs boson could be the key.”
Lisa Randall puts it simply, finding Higgs could explain “why do sub-atomic particles have mass, why does gravity have such different strength than the other fundamental forces, and could there really be one or more dimensions that are unseen and undetected from our plane?”
On December, 13, the research results from the CERN public seminar were publicly announced, but the 95% confidence level is not enough to make any conclusive statement: “The 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 Giga electron Volts by the ATLAS experiment, and 115-127 Giga electron Volts by CMS,” both experiments done by collaborating internationally. At least, they agree it is interesting that “there are multiple independent measurements pointing to the region of 124 to 126 GeV.”
A Persistent Illusion
“The LHC does not yet have enough data to claim a discovery,” BBC reports, “Prof. Stefan Soldner-Rembold, from the University of Manchester, called the quality of the LHC’s results exceptional, adding: Within one year we will probably know whether the Higgs particle exists, but it is likely not going to be a Christmas present.”
While this may be the most exciting period of research, it still remains in a highest state of abstraction for most of the public, and this kind of science that is done in public creates political gravities for the researchers. While everyone is expecting an “Eureka!” moment, all they get is sigmas, standard deviations, energy measures and statistics. “We have not yet found or disproved it,” it is so often repeated at CERN, but what seems to be missing from the formula is that Higgs is not the only exciting particle that we can find inside the Collider and that this is not the particle that will provide all the answers.
What’s cooking under Geneva is a primordial soup but we expect by each slurp to magically leave the matrix. What we miss to welcome is an ingredient missing from most scientific work and that is – doing science in the open. CERN as a SCOAP3 partner publishes all its research papers open access, builds tools that will further enable open access research, coordinates open access repositories, a consortium of libraries, publishers and funding agencies that will identify the demand for and provision of open access. CERN is where knowledge, and particles, and “things” – flow about.