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Search for Higgs Gets a Power Boost

Scientists have agreed on boosting power levels at the Large Hadron Collider by 14 percent. 2012 should settle once and for all the question of the Higgs boson's existence.

What’s the Latest Development?

Determined to settle the question over the existence of the Higgs particle in 2012, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have reached an agreement to boost power levels at the world’s largest physics experiment by 14 percent. In addition to that 14 percent, “improvements in data handling and the ability to focus those proton beams mean that the machine’s ‘luminosity’a measure of how intense and productive the collisions ultimately areshould lead to a three-fold increase in data it produces compared to 2011.”

What’s the Big Idea?

The existence of the Higgs particle, possibly one of the earliest elements in the universe, is thought to have brought matter into existence, partially answering the age-old question: Why is there anything at all? But the LHC is already looking past the Higgs. Next November, the collider will take a 20 month hiatus while its hardware is upgraded. “That should result in an operating proton beam energy of 14 trillion electronvolts, or teraelectronvoltsdouble the energy used to date.” The team’s goal is to search for new physics.

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