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Tevatron scientists announce their final results on the Higgs particle

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Click to read answers to FAQ about the Higgs boson.

After more than 10 years of gathering and analyzing data produced by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Tevatron collider, scientists from the CDF and DZero experiments have found their strongest indication to date for the long-sought Higgs particle. The Tevatron results indicate that the Higgs particle, if it exists, has a mass between 115 and 135 GeV/c2, or about 130 times the mass of the proton.

Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes the concept of how the search for the Higgs boson is accomplished.

At the Tevatron, which made protons and antiprotons collide, scientists focus on finding signs for the decay of the Higgs particle into a bottom quark and anti-bottom quark.

At the Large Hadron Collider, which smashes protons into protons, scientists focus on finding signs for the decay of the Higgs particle into two photons.

The 4-mile-in-circumference Tevatron accelerator, shut down in September 2011, is one of eight particle accelerators and storage rings at the Department of Energy’s Fermilab. It used superconducting magnets to propel protons and antiprotons to nearly the speed of light. In the foreground is the 2-mile Main Injector accelerator, which powers Fermilab’s neutrino and muon research programs.

The Tevatron typically produced about 10 million proton-antiproton collisions per second. Each collision produced hundreds of particles. The CDF and DZero experiments recorded about 200 collisions per second for further analysis.

The three-story, 6,000-ton CDF detector recorded snapshots of the particles that emerge when protons and antiprotons collide.

Scientists measured the energy, momentum and electric charges of subatomic particles using a three-story assembly of sub detectors wrapped around DZero's collision area like the layers of an onion.

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last modified 07/02/2012 |