Higgs Found at ATLAS! April 15, 2008Posted by gordonwatts in Higgs, physics life.
That picture is of the ATLAS detector and Peter Higgs, the fellow whose last name is attached to the Higgs particle – the particle that all of us are after.
See? ATLAS saw him!
Coincidentally an email conversation broke out on a D0 mailing list around the time of this picture discussing the origins of the Higgs mechanism. It was sparked by this yahoo news article. The title is “‘God particle’ expected to be found soon.” Hmmm. Expected to be found? Not sure we are that sure… At any rate.
The email conversation was interesting because because it pointed out that in science often more than one person has the same idea at the same time. Discovery is partly having all the bits in place to build the discovery on. Once all the bits are in place then several people can make the leap.
I’m not familiar with this bit of history, besides Peter Higgs, there was also Robert Brout, Francois Englert, and Tom Kibble in Europe. There are two in America too – Gerald Guralnik and C.R. Hagen. I note that on the Englert page what we normally call the Higgs mechanism is called the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism. On the Kibble page it notes that he is credited with the co-discovery of the Higgs with Guralnik and Hagen, the beauty of wikipedia! [they are all basically right, I believe]. Oh — hey — and the UR home page has something up about Hagen as well.
I went to the University of Rochester for my graduate work and my quantum mechanics class was taught by Hagen. At the time I didn’t fully appreciate the work he had done.