Science Feature

Dark matter, WIMPS, and NASA's Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer data

Recently the media has been saturated with overly-hyped reports that NASA's Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) may have detected dark matter. These claims may have some justification if the word "may" is shouted, but they rest on a number of really major assumptions and guesses, some of which are on weak and shifting soil. So just what was seen in the experiment, and what are the possible explanations?Read More


CERN recreating the world's first website

To old fogeys like me, it seems like only yesterday that the coolest way to go online was to dial up the AP wire service bulletin board on a 300-baud modem, but it was actually two decades ago that the web as we know it burst onto our world. On Tuesday, it was 20 years ago that the World Wide Web went public, when CERN made the technology behind it available on a royalty-free basis. To mark the occasion, the organization announced that it is recreating the world's very first website for posterity. Read More

Research Watch Feature

Is it or isn't it? The Higgs boson story

The recent discovery at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) of a massive particle "consistent with" the predicted properties of the Higgs boson hit the news with the force of a hurricane. But the phrase "consistent with" suggests that the CERN observation may also be "consistent with" other types of particle. Is it or isn't it? We're going to attempt to clarify the situation for you.Read More


New boson discovered, probably Higgs

Numbers are yet to be crunched and the data analysis goes on, but one thing appears to be certain: scientists at CERN have discovered a new boson, and it's probably the Higgs particle, the missing particle of the Standard Model which is thought to lend all matter its mass. Both the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN observe a new particle with mass between 125 and 126 GeV, comfortably within the band of possible Higgs masses previously identified.Read More


LHC physicists sniff Higgs boson discovery

The results of two recent experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva suggest physicists are close to discovering the Higgs boson, the so-called God particle. Combined, the two experiments have narrowed the possible band of possible Higgs boson masses. Though not sufficient to claim a discovery, the latest experiments restrict the region in which the Higgs boson might be hiding. Read More


OPERA confirms earlier claims of faster-than-light neutrinos

On September 23rd, researchers from the European OPERA project made the now-famous announcement that they had observed neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. Given that Einstein's special theory of relativity states that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, their proclamation was naturally met with some skepticism – various physicists stated that there was likely a flaw in the design, implementation or calculations involved the experiment. To their credit, the OPERA collaborative made a point of inviting other scientists to try to replicate their results. In the meantime, however, they’ve replicated those results themselves, and announced today that neutrinos still appear to be the speediest particles in the universe.Read More


Faster-than-light travel observed ... of neutrinos, maybe

According to Einstein’s restricted theory of relativity, nothing can travel faster than light in a vacuum. Up until today, that had pretty much seemed to be the case, too. Early this morning, however, researchers from the Geneva-based OPERA project announced that the results from one of their recent experiments indicate that neutrinos can in fact outrun light particles.Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People

Google Science Fair quarter-finalists announced

Fifteen Google Science Fair quarter-finalists have been announced as the competition moves towards the 2011 Grand Final in July. These fifteen finalists will be flying to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California for the Google Science Fair event, and final judging will take place on 11th July by a panel of acclaimed scientists. Open to all students aged 13 to 18 from around the world, the online competition is designed to champion young scientific talent and give students the opportunity to showcase their ideas. Three winners will be chosen from each age group, with an overall winner chosen from those three. Read More


CERN traps antimatter atoms for 1,000 seconds

Researchers involved in the ALPHA experiment at Switzerland’s CERN complex announced yesterday (June 5) that they have succeeded in using the facility's antiproton decelerator to trap antimatter atoms for 1,000 seconds – or just over 16 minutes. This was reportedly enough time to begin studying their properties in detail, which has been the goal of ALPHA since the project began in 2005.Read More


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