Local researchers aid in Higgs boson search

The China Post news staff

A particle “consistent with” the Higgs boson has been discovered by an international research team including members from National Central University and National Taiwan University, and the research team will continue its study to determine whether the particle can be formally identified as the Higgs boson, an elementary particle that gives mass to other elementary particles such as quarks and electrons through the Higgs mechanism, the National Central University (NCU) said yesterday. A Taiwanese team composed of physics professors of the two local universities has been with the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) research program under the international Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project for 13 years, and has been responsible for undertaking physics analysis, the NCU said.

NCU noted that at a total cost of around NT$300 billion, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100 meters underground. It is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles and is expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics, advancing the understanding of the deepest laws of nature.

Two beams of subatomic particles called “hadrons” travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. Physicists use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang by colliding the two beams head-on at extraordinary velocity. Teams of physicists from around the world then analyze the particles created in the collisions using special detectors in a number of experiments dedicated to the LHC, according to NCU.