Professor Higgs’ Particle

Published on: June 26, 2019
François Englert (left) and Peter Higgs speak to conference attendees at CERN on July 4, 2012, on the occasion of the announcement of the discovery of a Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS experiments. Photo: Maximilien Brice/CERN

Fifty years ago physicists, pondering how particles get mass, had suggested that there is another field, but one with no direction and the same value everywhere throughout the universe. 

Dr. Higgs said, “If that field exists, there should be a particle that goes with it,” just as the electromagnetic field, light, has a particle, the photon. The Higgs particle is heavier than a silver atom but trillions of times smaller. Perhaps it has no size at all! It disintegrates to lighter particles immediately and has no practical applications, so what’s the big deal?

By Mike Albrow. Click here for the Fermilab article.

CSI: Neutrinos cast no shadows

Categories: Intensity Frontier
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Published on: June 19, 2019
Xianguo Lu from University of Oxford explains why neutrinos leave no shadows at the March 2, 2018 Fermilab Wine & Cheese Seminar. Photo: Kevin McFarland

Scientists solve neutrino mysteries by watching them interact with detectors — specifically, with the atomic nuclei in the detector material. Most of the time, a neutrino does not even shake hands with a nucleus. But when it does, the lightweight, neutral particle can transform into a charged particle and knock things out of the nucleus as it escapes — leaving a crime scene behind. It is the job of scientists at Fermilab’s MINERvA experiment to reconstruct the crime scene and figure out what has happened during the interaction.

This article appeared on the Fermilab News site on February 4, 2019. It was written by Xianguo Lu.

Neutrinos: The ghost particle; Neutrinos from the sun

Published on: June 12, 2019
The answer to the solar neutrino problem lies in the fact that there are multiple neutrino flavors.

An introduction to the “Solar Neutrino Problem”, that is, why did scientists originally think that there was something really fishy going on with Wolfgang Pauli’s “little neutral one.”

This post is a mash-up of two “Physics in a Nutshell” articles: Neutrinos: The ghost particle, published on June 2, 2017; Neutrinos from the sun, published June 16, 2017. Both were written by Mike Albrow and were adapted from articles he wrote for Positively Naperville.

ArgoNeuT hits a home run with measurements of neutrinos in liquid argon

Categories: Intensity Frontier
Published on: June 5, 2019
A negative muon and positive pion candidate event in ArgoNeuT. The figure shows the 2-D projections in the two wire planes. The color of the track respects the charge read by the wire planes, wire by wire.

The ArgoNeuT experiment was the first ever to make cross-section measurements of neutrino and antineutrino (the neutrino’s antimatter counterpart) interactions resulting in a muon, a charged pion and any number of nucleons in the final state using argon as the target.

By Giacomo Scanavini and Tingjun Yang

Click here to read the article at the Fermilab News web site.

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