UF Physicists Assist in Finding "God Particle"
It's the quest for one particle...the Higgs boson...or the God Particle.
"We had one percent of this data, so we took a hundred times more data in this year," says UF Professor Darren Acosta.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is based in Geneva, but they use equipment made in Gainesville.
“I probably spend more time than my family would like at Geneva," says Acosta. "My wife refers to my experiment as the other woman because it takes a lot of our time. We spend a lot of time traveling there.”
Acosta and John Yelton of UF have been working with CERN for years, helping make various parts of the CERN machinery, like the electronic particle finder.
Acosta travels to Geneva every month to attend conferences or operate the particle accelerator that UF helped build. He says it was very exciting to see the machine in action for the first time, but it's now become routine.
UF is one of four Florida universities involved in research since the late 1990's. But the God Particle is finally within sight. If scientists can pinpoint the location, it could eventually lead to the discovery of a force that unites all matter in the universe.
“The place which remains, the window where it is is getting very narrow now," says fellow researcher John Yelton, "and there are hints within that window that it exists, but we could not say that it exists.”
Yelton and Acosta continue to look through that window, updating the particle finder to help bring the elusive particle into sharper focus.
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