People do it, birds do it, and now quantum physicists do it: Gossip. Right now there are TWO competing particle accelerators smashing together subatomic particles–CERN (the Large Hadron Collider, which started operating outside Geneva) and the less well-known Tevatron, at the Fermi Laboratory in Illinois. Not only are these two smashers competing for information about new elementary particles, they are also generating lots of scientific gossip. The scientists at both accelerators claim that they’ve recorded data that hints at the existence of the elusive Higgs Boson, also known as the God Particle (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to these shows).
There’s not just gossip, there’s squabbling too: In the August 2nd edition of the New York Times, Dennis Overbye quotes CERN physicist Gigi Rolandi as saying, "With this amount of data L.H.C. can discover the Higgs boson if it exists."
Overbye quotes Fermilab physicist John Conway as aying that it might take combining data from the Tevatron and the hadron collider to get the Higgs–"a radical concept at present, I have to say, but technically possible."
He quotes physicist Kyle Cranmer as saying, "We still have a lot of work to do to show this is real. I think it’s going to be an exciting year."
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