(Photo: REUTERS / Denis Balibouse)
A graphic showing a collision at full power is pictured at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experience control room of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin, near Geneva March 30, 2010.
Clearing the speculation by the media over possible discovery of Higgs boson or the 'God Particle', the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has confirmed that there are hints "that something might be there."
In an exclusive interview with the International Business Times, CERN's spokesman and head of communication James Gillies says there are hints that "something might be there" but it may take one more year for scientists to resolve the mystery.
Gillies denied previous reports that they have discovered particles which move faster than light.
Here are some excerpts:
Has CERN solved the God particle mystery? If not, how long will it take?
By this time next year, we will know whether the Higgs particle, as described by the Standard Model of particle physics, exists or not. If we find it, that will be a great achievement, completing the Standard Model, which is the theory that describes the fundamental particles that make up the visible Universe and their interactions.
If we show that the Standard Model Higgs does not exist, that will be at least as exciting since it will point to physics beyond the Standard Model, and perhaps lead the way to exploring the 96% of the Universe that is not visible.
Do you think the data collected by Large Hadron Collider so far contains the traits of Higgs boson?
It is too early to say. The LHC experiments have narrowed the range of masses available for a Standard Model Higgs boson to a very small window. Within that window, there are hints that something might be there, but more data are needed.
What has made Higgs boson the most attractive theory?
The Standard Model works extremely well and has withstood decades of experimental scrutiny. The Higgs particle is the last missing piece of the puzzle.
What is CERN's stand on the particle moving faster than light in the wake of criticisms against it?
The OPERA experiment behaved with absolute scientific rigor in presenting their measurement to a wider community to invite scrutiny and independent measurements. That is how science works. No one claimed a discovery, and we're looking forward to the independent measurements.
How will you sum up CERN's experiments so far?
That's a very big question, since they began in 1954. However, over that time, CERN experiments have contributed vastly to our understanding of nature at a fundamental level, and led to numerous technological innovations that have transformed our lives: the World Wide Web is just the tip of the iceberg.
What will be the next phase of experiments at CERN?
The LHC has about a 20 year operational lifetime ahead of it, so that will be the focus for some time to come. However, CERN has other research facilities as well, and we will continue our researches in areas such as antimatter research and particle astrophysics.
What will CERN focus on after finding or ruling out Higgs boson?
The search for the Higgs boson is just one part of the LHC research program, which also includes studies of matter as it would have been just after the Big Bang, investigations of matter-antimaller asymmetry and searches for physics beyond the standard model. All of these topics require large quantities of data, and so will keep the experimenters busy for many years.
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