I'm Chels. I blog about science, art, tennis, and my adventures in journalism. Officially, I'm a Science Writer at Brookhaven National Lab and I blog for them, too. Unofficially, I'm pretty awesome.

Or, you know, owsome.

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Posts tagged higgs

The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded this morning to Peter Higgs and François Englert for developing the theory of how particles acquire mass. Their theories are tested at the Large Hadron Collider, where the Higgs boson was discovered with the help of scientists from around the world. 

I’m privileged to work at Brookhaven National Lab, where our scientists have been involved in the hunt for the Higgs in almost every way possible. Brookhaven physicists designed crucial pieces of the detectors that actually spotted the Higgs, we host the biggest repository of LHC data outside of Geneva, and our scientists helped analyze the snapshots these detectors take, looking for the needle-in-the-haystack particle that proves this theory. 

What a phenomenal thing it is to see Peter Higgs receive the Nobel for the particle that bears his name. It continually blows me away that he could have imagined this particle (and the Higgs field), written a theory that describes how matter becomes massive, and then — after 50 years of theorizing and 20 building and running the LHC — finally see his work proven out with this enormous experiment. What a stunning accomplishment for everyone involved. 

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Listen to the Higgs Boson

When I visited CERN last year, I was blown away not only by the science, but by the incredible amount of artistic creativity in the people that live and work at the biggest science experiment in the world. We met people in bands, people who painted murals, videographers, and so much more. So this little project by the folks at ATLAS to ‘sonify’ the Higgs finding just has me grinning. They assigned notes to data points and what came out was this lovely little habanera rhythm that corresponds with the Higgs. 

It’s such a fun piece of music.