11 January 2011

USA particle lab #Tevatron closing due to budget cuts - EU will now seek elusive Higgs boson particle #physics

Hunt for elusive Higgs boson particle - crucial to current theories of physics - will now fall to Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). 

Tevatron ring (Fermilab)The Tevatron will end operations in 2011 as originally scheduled
CMS experiment at the LHC (Cern)The LHC is the only other rival in the race to detect the Higgs

The Higgs boson is of huge importance to the widely accepted theory of physics, known as the Standard Model.

It explains why other particles have mass, but, despite decades trying, no-one has yet detected it.

The LHC, which is based underground on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, is the only other competitor in the race to find the Higgs.

In 2010, physicists at Fermilab said they were closing in on the elusive particle.

The Tevatron and the LHC alone are powerful enough to probe energy ranges where the Higgs may reside.

Some physicists have previously said the European machine may not be in a position to detect the Higgs for two to three years.

Extending the Tevatron's lifetime beyond 2011 would have been a game-changer, giving the US lab a potential advantage in the race to make a discovery.

Cern, the organisation which runs the LHC, has for some time been planning to shut down the machine in late 2011 for up to one year.

But recently, officials had been considering whether to delay this scheduled closure - for maintenance work - until the end of 2012, giving the LHC more time to hunt for the elusive particle.

Fermilab would have needed an extra $35m per year to operate the Tevatron into 2014.

Posted via email from colby pre-posterous

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