Today is not only Independence Day here in the U.S., it’s also the first anniversary of the discovery of the Higgs boson—or another new particle that uncannily matches predictions. This was and is a huge deal. The hunt for the Higgs is one of the most epic endeavors in human history, culminating in the most massive experiment ever built after a half-century of brilliant collaboration. Happy anniversary, Higgs, you mass-endowing beauty.
At Brookhaven, we help crunch and manage the data for the ATLAS experiment—one of the two main Higgs-sensitive detectors on the Large Hadron Collider. Our physicists also play key roles in experimental design, construction, and ongoing analysis.
The image above is from an animation of actual ATLAS collision data by those wonders at CERN. Go watch the video in high-res. Trust us, it’s worth it.
Since last year’s discovery, the LHC continued collisions and refined the data before shutting down for upgrades and repairs. The latest word is that the new particle, which weighs a svelte 125 GeV, matches the Standard Model more and more perfectly. It’s not quite as exciting as finding hints of supersymmetry or a dimension-crossing graviton, but the achievement remains momentous. And many secrets still hide in these stunning collisions.