Image of the week - On the hunt for the Higgs
Høst’s image is a time-lapse view, not a snapshot, and shows particles moving out from a central collision point.
Høst has painted on top of an existing image, using artistic licence to continue the particle trajectories (in white) originally simulated for the ATLAS particle detector.
As they spiral outward, these initial particles—perhaps the Higgs Boson itself—rapidly decay into more garden-variety particles, eventually becoming protons, neutrons, photons, pions, muons and more. It is these latter particles that are observed by detectors.
Researchers analyze the decay products of these collisions, searching for evidence of parent particles such as the much hoped-for Higgs.
Computationally, this is a challenge never before seen in the physics world.
The chance of discovering something as significant as the Higgs in vastly increased thanks to the computing power of massive computer grids such as the World Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid, created through unprecedented levels of cooperation and international collaboration.
Learn more about Mette Høst at her Web site (in Danish).
Need a crash course on the Higgs Boson? Read Howard E. Haber’s 60 second explanation in Fermilab/SLAC's symmetry magazine.