Physics News of the Week: BICEP2 All Over Again?

| November 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Another great week has passed and it’s time to take a look at the top news of the week. As always, here are the top three news stories with corresponding links. For more news and other free stuff, register for our email newsletter.

1. Gravity May Have Saved the Universe after the Big Bang (Nov 18)

One of the more puzzling aspects of the early universe physics is why the universe simply didn’t collapse immediately after the big bang. Now a new research by a team of European physicists could possibly explain this puzzle.

Studies of the Higgs particle recently revealed that production of the Higgs particles during the inflation should have led to instability and collapse. The new research by the scientists from Imperial College London, and the Universities of Copenhagen and Helsinki suggest that gravity provided the stability needed for the universe to survive expansion in that early period.

“Our research investigates the last unknown parameter in the Standard Model – the interaction between the Higgs particle and gravity. This parameter cannot be measured in particle accelerator experiments, but it has a big effect on the Higgs instability during inflation. Even a relatively small value is enough to explain the survival of the universe without any new physics!” said Professor Arttu Rajantie.

Almost 2 years after the discovery of the famous boson there are still doubts whether it was really the Higgs

2. Physicists Discover New Subatomic Particles (Nov 19)

Physicists have recently discovered two never-before-seen baryonic particles — a finding, which is expected to have a major impact on the study of quark dynamics.Steven Blusk, associate professor of physics, has identified particles known as Xi_b’- and Xi_b*-. Although the particles had been predicted to exist, nobody had seen them until now. The discovery is part of his ongoing work at the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

“This is a very exciting result,” Blusk commented. “Thanks to LHCb’s excellent hadron identification, which is unique among LHC experiments, we’ve been able to separate a clean, strong signal from the background. It demonstrates, once again, both the sensitivity and precision of the LHCb detector.”

3. BICEP 2 All Over Again? (Nov 21)

So recently a team of researchers has raised doubts about the Higgs Boson in their paper published in the journal Physical Review D. This recent paper is from a team of researchers from Denmark, Belgium and the United Kingdom led by Dr. Mads Toudal Frandsen. Their study entitled, “Technicolor Higgs boson in the light of LHC data” discusses how their supported theory predicts Technicolor quarks through a range of energies detectable at LHC and that one in particular is within the uncertainty level of the data point declared to be the Higgs Boson.

Even though the claim requires more research and experimentation, the possibility itself offers some interesting practical questions, such as what would happen with the Nobel prize awarded for the discovery of the Higgs if the discovery turned out to be false? According to the Nobel prize foundation, the statutes clearly state that prizes cannot be revoked.

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