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CERN | Ian Sample

CERN

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  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user 'uiansam_485147_1'@'linweb18.atlas.pipex.net' for table 'truecache_filter' query: UPDATE truecache_filter SET data = '<p>I spent the months after 4th July 2012 - or discovery day, as history will have it - interviewing many of those most caught up in the hunt for the Higgs boson. I wanted to know how they finally uncovered the particle, how the engineers pushed the Large Hadron Collider as hard as they dared, and how the scientists worked flat out, and against the clock, to pull those gold-plated signatures of the Higgs boson from the scrappy debris of countless subatomic collisions. I wanted to know how they felt as the particle showed its face. They were first to see something new in Nature.</p>\n', created = 1498701492, expire = 1498787892, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:0ed49771d33fb3bbc6d0ad55a3ecec2d' in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/ia/ns/am/iansample.com/public_html/site/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user 'uiansam_485147_1'@'linweb18.atlas.pipex.net' for table 'truecache_filter' query: UPDATE truecache_filter SET data = '<p>Last week I posted a black and white photograph of three young men and a beautiful Sunbeam Alpine convertible taken in 1961 on the campus of Harvard University.</p>\n<p>I wondered if anyone might recognise the men: two are major characters in Massive and were there right at the start of the story that culminates in the hunt for what became known as the Higgs boson.</p>\n', created = 1498701492, expire = 1498787892, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:72c51e2c730c273509882170f2a4e818' in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/ia/ns/am/iansample.com/public_html/site/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user 'uiansam_485147_1'@'linweb18.atlas.pipex.net' for table 'truecache_filter' query: UPDATE truecache_filter SET data = '<p>This week I heard the wonderful news that Massive has been shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton science book prize 2011.</p>\n<p>It is no exaggeration to say the announcement made my year and to see it alongside some titles that truly bowled me over is a real thrill.</p>\n<p>The <a href=\"http://royalsociety.org/awards/science-books/shortlist-2011/\">Royal Society has posted some information on the shortlist</a> and included some thoughts from the judges on each book. Here&#39;s what they said about Massive:</p>\n', created = 1498701492, expire = 1498787892, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:707754166095d4a19e72d95e8c314149' in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/ia/ns/am/iansample.com/public_html/site/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user 'uiansam_485147_1'@'linweb18.atlas.pipex.net' for table 'truecache_filter' query: UPDATE truecache_filter SET data = '<p>The Large Hadron Collider has left little room for the Higgs to hide after a spectacular tour de force that kicked off the summer conference season.</p>\n<p>Among particle physicists there is a palpable feeling that, one way or another, we will soon know whether the famously elusive particle exists or not. The answer might well set the course of physics for decades to come.</p>\n', created = 1498701492, expire = 1498787892, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:a4ddbaebf576ea2cbeccf754afe6a8a7' in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/ia/ns/am/iansample.com/public_html/site/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user 'uiansam_485147_1'@'linweb18.atlas.pipex.net' for table 'truecache_filter' query: UPDATE truecache_filter SET data = '<p>I never met <a href=\"http://www.ulb.ac.be/sciences/physth/people_RBrout.html\">Robert Brout</a> but on 4th June 2007 I interviewed him over a scratchy Skype line at his home in Brussels about his part in what has become the story of the Higgs boson. He was joined by <a href=\"http://www.ulb.ac.be/sciences/physth/people_FEnglert.html\">Francois Englert</a>.</p>\n', created = 1498701492, expire = 1498787892, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:ac46650685b09bc139760e6e9b9e0774' in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/ia/ns/am/iansample.com/public_html/site/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user 'uiansam_485147_1'@'linweb18.atlas.pipex.net' for table 'truecache_filter' query: UPDATE truecache_filter SET data = '<p>And so to the media scramble at Easter that scientists at the Large Hadron Collider had finally glimpsed the Higgs boson, or at least its fleeting footprint: a flicker of light in the giant Atlas detector.</p>\n', created = 1498701492, expire = 1498787892, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:8f28d7273edd6ef8defd238e35d30585' in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/ia/ns/am/iansample.com/public_html/site/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user 'uiansam_485147_1'@'linweb18.atlas.pipex.net' for table 'truecache_filter' query: UPDATE truecache_filter SET data = '<p>Things are looking good at Cern. <a href=\"http://lhc.web.cern.ch/lhc/\">The Large Hadron Collider (LHC)</a> is back in business and for the first time, there is a real sense that major discoveries are within reach.</p>\n', created = 1498701492, expire = 1498787892, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:a405abf9422b3df72e3524f43dbb1472' in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/ia/ns/am/iansample.com/public_html/site/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user 'uiansam_485147_1'@'linweb18.atlas.pipex.net' for table 'truecache_filter' query: UPDATE truecache_filter SET data = '<p>There are ways to open a talk and ways not to open a talk and in the summer it wasn&rsquo;t so clear which I&rsquo;d picked when I stood up to give a lecture on Massive at the <a href=\"http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/\">Edinburgh International Book Festival</a>. It went something like this. No. It went exactly like this. &ldquo;I must be the first author to speak at an international book festival who winces at the title of his own book.&rdquo;</p>\n', created = 1498701492, expire = 1498787892, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:93aeca5200b504d580299a50bc42edc4' in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/ia/ns/am/iansample.com/public_html/site/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user 'uiansam_485147_1'@'linweb18.atlas.pipex.net' for table 'truecache_filter' query: UPDATE truecache_filter SET data = '<p>And so it goes on. The International Conference on High Energy Physics (<a href=\"http://www.ichep2010.fr/\">ICHEP</a>) in Paris came and went, but&nbsp; the Higgs boson is still at large. As expected, rumours that the world&#39;s most elusive particle had shown up at the Tevatron collider at Fermilab near Chicago failed to materialise into anything more concrete. Nonetheless, there was good news.</p>\n', created = 1498701492, expire = 1498787892, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '1:e79e3566f1c5691391ca7479228c3013' in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/ia/ns/am/iansample.com/public_html/site/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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A new chapter for Massive

I spent the months after 4th July 2012 - or discovery day, as history will have it - interviewing many of those most caught up in the hunt for the Higgs boson. I wanted to know how they finally uncovered the particle, how the engineers pushed the Large Hadron Collider as hard as they dared, and how the scientists worked flat out, and against the clock, to pull those gold-plated signatures of the Higgs boson from the scrappy debris of countless subatomic collisions. I wanted to know how they felt as the particle showed its face. They were first to see something new in Nature.

The fourth man

Last week I posted a black and white photograph of three young men and a beautiful Sunbeam Alpine convertible taken in 1961 on the campus of Harvard University.

I wondered if anyone might recognise the men: two are major characters in Massive and were there right at the start of the story that culminates in the hunt for what became known as the Higgs boson.

Massive makes the shortlist

This week I heard the wonderful news that Massive has been shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton science book prize 2011.

It is no exaggeration to say the announcement made my year and to see it alongside some titles that truly bowled me over is a real thrill.

The Royal Society has posted some information on the shortlist and included some thoughts from the judges on each book. Here's what they said about Massive:

The final hiding place?

The Large Hadron Collider has left little room for the Higgs to hide after a spectacular tour de force that kicked off the summer conference season.

Among particle physicists there is a palpable feeling that, one way or another, we will soon know whether the famously elusive particle exists or not. The answer might well set the course of physics for decades to come.

To be a great physicist

I never met Robert Brout but on 4th June 2007 I interviewed him over a scratchy Skype line at his home in Brussels about his part in what has become the story of the Higgs boson. He was joined by Francois Englert.

Another one bites the dust

And so to the media scramble at Easter that scientists at the Large Hadron Collider had finally glimpsed the Higgs boson, or at least its fleeting footprint: a flicker of light in the giant Atlas detector.

The year of the Higgs

Things are looking good at Cern. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is back in business and for the first time, there is a real sense that major discoveries are within reach.

God, physics and book titles

There are ways to open a talk and ways not to open a talk and in the summer it wasn’t so clear which I’d picked when I stood up to give a lecture on Massive at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It went something like this. No. It went exactly like this. “I must be the first author to speak at an international book festival who winces at the title of his own book.”

What's next for the Higgs hunters?

And so it goes on. The International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) in Paris came and went, but  the Higgs boson is still at large. As expected, rumours that the world's most elusive particle had shown up at the Tevatron collider at Fermilab near Chicago failed to materialise into anything more concrete. Nonetheless, there was good news.

Waiting for the Godot particle

To get to Fermilab from downtown Chicago, you find Lake Michigan and drive in the opposite direction. After about an hour on the freeway, the city shrinks to nothing in the rear-view mirror and you pick up an access road that turns into the 7,000 acre campus where the laboratory is based.

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