The standard model of particle physics describes the elementary particles (the smallest building blocks of our world) and the forces that act between them: the electromagnetic force, the strong force (that holds together the atomic nucleus), and the weak force that is responsible for certain forms of radioactive decay. The matter building blocks contain the quarks (the particles that make up protons and neutrons) and leptons, which include the electron.

The standard model is the most precise and successful theory ever developed—in some cases, theory and experiment agree out to ten significant digits. The only missing building block of the model is the famous—and, so far, elusive—Higgs particle, which is needed to give mass to all other elementary particles.

Despite its success, most physicists are convinced that the standard model cannot be the ultimate theory. The most apparent problem with the model is that it cannot explain dark matter. Over the last ten years, several experiments established independently that the visible matter (from which humans, the earth, the solar system, and all galaxies are made of) constitute only a small fraction of all matter in the universe. What constitutes the remaining, missing matter—the dark matter—remains one of the great mysteries of modern physics.

skeptv

skepttv:

TEDx Flanders - Tommaso Dorigo & Peter Woit - Universe dissectors

We are at a dramatic moment in the history of physics, as the huge Large Hadron Collider experiment has begun its successful operation near Geneva. Around the time of TEDxFlanders, sufficient data should have been collected to allow preliminary answers to a central question that has occupied physicists since the 1970s: what causes particles to get their mass? Is it something known as the “Higgs mechanism”? Experimentalist Tommaso Dorigo and theorist Peter Woit will explain what this is all about, and provide an up-to-the-minute look at the news from Geneva.

Why listen to them?

Experimentalist Tommaso Dorigo and theorist Peter Woit run two of the most prominent blogs dealing with the latest developments in particle physics.
Tommaso Dorigo is an experimental particle physicist working with the Collider Detector experiment at Fermilab and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research and one of the world’s most respected centres for scientific research on fundamental physics. Peter Woit is Senior Lecturer in the Mathematics department at Columbia University. He is known for the critical view on string theory in his book Not Even Wrong.

sciencecenter
sciencecenter:

If the Higgs Boson exists, we’re running out of places to find it
After 18 months of study at the Large Hadron Collider, scientists have just about exhausted all of the various possible energies where the Higgs Boson - the “god particle” tying together the Standard Model of particle physics - could be found. Presenters at an August conference in Mumbai put the chances at 95% that the Higgs doesn’t exist. The silver lining exists for a) up-and-coming theoretical particle physicists, who are probably going to be in great demand, and b) Stephen Hawking, who boldly predicted that the Higgs will never be found.

I have heard the story told a bit differently by my friend who works with a group analyzing data for potential Higgs signatures.  According to him, the Higgs is thought to most likely exist within two particular energy ranges.  Scientists picked a range in the middle hoping to detect direct or indirect evidence of a Higgs signal.  So far nothing, but there is still a pretty viable energy range where we could see evidence for the Higgs.  Other sources I have heard have said it would take another couple of years of not finding the Higgs before we start looking at other possibilities.
On a side note, I am skeptical that theoretical physicists will ever be in “great demand,” much to my chagrin. 

sciencecenter:

If the Higgs Boson exists, we’re running out of places to find it

After 18 months of study at the Large Hadron Collider, scientists have just about exhausted all of the various possible energies where the Higgs Boson - the “god particle” tying together the Standard Model of particle physics - could be found. Presenters at an August conference in Mumbai put the chances at 95% that the Higgs doesn’t exist. The silver lining exists for a) up-and-coming theoretical particle physicists, who are probably going to be in great demand, and b) Stephen Hawking, who boldly predicted that the Higgs will never be found.

I have heard the story told a bit differently by my friend who works with a group analyzing data for potential Higgs signatures.  According to him, the Higgs is thought to most likely exist within two particular energy ranges.  Scientists picked a range in the middle hoping to detect direct or indirect evidence of a Higgs signal.  So far nothing, but there is still a pretty viable energy range where we could see evidence for the Higgs.  Other sources I have heard have said it would take another couple of years of not finding the Higgs before we start looking at other possibilities.

On a side note, I am skeptical that theoretical physicists will ever be in “great demand,” much to my chagrin. 

skeptv

skepttv:

Peter Higgs

A video by Cern with Peter Higgs talking about his lifes work, the Higgs mechanism and the hunt for the mass-conferring particle named after him, the Higgs boson, video date 01 July 2004.

Video source - http://cdsweb.cern.ch/collection/Video%20Movies

More info - http://www.phy.uct.ac.za/courses/phy400w/particle/higgs5.htm

A brief summary of fermions, bosons and supersymmetry - http://www.myspace.com/120129993/blog/220276602