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Anna Phan | USLHC | USA

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ICHEP 2012: Welcome

Usually the welcome reception of a conference is a fairly low key affair. You register, you get your conference bag, you have a few drinks and nibbles while chatting to other conference participants. Not the ICHEP 2012 welcome reception though. This one included a broadcast of the LHC Higgs Seminar. This meant that people actually arrived before the reception and there was a fairly long line to register (though we didn’t have to wait as long as those at CERN). The main worry about the ICHEP broadcast was the connection to CERN. During the previous Higgs seminar in December, the webcast stopped working half way through. Luckily this time, everything went well, and we were able to listen and cheer at the announcements from CMS and ATLAS of the observation of a Higgs-like particle at 125-126 GeV.

It was a historic moment for particle physics, a triumph for the predictive power of the theory, not possible with without the hard work of many physicists, both on the LHC and the two experiments. Though, as was emphasised, this is only the beginning in Higgs boson studies. We now need to figure out what exactly this excess is… We certainly live in interesting times!



2 Responses to “ICHEP 2012: Welcome”

  1. Jim Cullen says:

    Amazing news! So we have the discovery of a Higgs-like particle, a boson with the expected properties at an energy of 125.3 +/- 0.6 GeV. The article states that research on the Higgs is just beginning – which is of course true enough. Can someone give an idea though, if this IS the Higgs boson, what can be learned from just the fact that the Higgs has this stated rest mass? It wouldn’t be the first time that settling a debate over the rest mass of a particle had interesting consequences in theoretical physics!

  2. flashgordon says:

    I was not able to get online for the web conference; of course, I’ve known for a while now through here and other science news websites that we’ve gone into the Higgs era(for the last two days).

    Congratulations to all those who got to do the hard work; wasn’t it worth it!?

    There’s not much more to say! Unfortunatelly, it seems that the majority of people can’t get excited about this even during the Apollo 11 flight(the general public lost interest right after!).

    I’ve grown up knowing that I was living in the electroweak unification era(I’ve read Crease and Mann’s “The Second Creation” so many times! My first edition has totally fallen apart! I bought the second edition which has some changes; some I kind of agree but miss the things replaced). I of course also have been through the inflationary era with the COBE satellite results(and of course, I’ve read Alan Guth’s Inflationary Universe . . . and of course Steven Weinberg’s “First Three Minutes”); for me, this is exciting and disappointing; I have nobody to communicate this excitement with!

    While the science community might feel alone in their excitement, even sports often wonder sometimes whether people care. In american football(NFL), Los Angeles seems to be a strange market for them; teams have come but find that Los Angeles people have other things they prefer to do! It’s a large market, but they can’t get the interest to attract teams to it! But, because it is so large, teams will try and try again! Science has engrained itself enough in practical affairs, that science will always get enough crumbs(money) to continue to push the real human adventure(science). Science looks to continue to be exciting! The Herschel space telescope is still up there; the James Webb looks to make it; quietly, nustar has been put up(a substantially more advanced x-ray telescope), gravity meters will eventually start to pay dividencs! The Arizona binocular telescope, the ESO four interferometer telescope, the ALMA, there’s so much exciting things going on! Nanotechnology is coming on!

    I’ve often said to myself that the LHC is problaby going to be the last man made particle accelerator! The next will be built by means of nanomanufacturing! Just type in the program/blueprints, and in a day or week or so, we’ll have the next lep! If you think science frontiers are being pushed forward hard now, imagine being able to crank out the next most advanced particle accellerator in like a day!

    Honestly, Feynman/Drexler nanomanufacturing is probably a decade or two off; but, there’s plenty of dna-nanomanufacturing which can combine with other nanotechnologies like graphene and buckyballs/nanotubes that we’re going to see this year and the next year till we meld into Feynman/Drexler nanomanufacturing.

    And then there’s quantum computing!

    Alright this post is getting long enough! Mars trips . . . o.k. I’m just going to click post now!

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