Washington, May 25: Scientists are hoping that the Atlas detector, which is one of six particle physics experiments part of the Large Hadron Collider, will help unlock some deep scientific mysteries and perhaps even lead to discovery of the Higgs boson, dubbed as "the God particle". The Large Hadron Collider is located at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. Physicists the world over are hoping that the Atlas detector would lead to the finding of Higgs boson, sometimes called "the God particle" because it is believed its discovery will refine the understanding of exactly how the universe came to be and how it functions, and how mass came to be in the first place.
What the Atlas subsystem does is that it detects subatomic particles called muons. These particles have little interaction with each other or with other matter and are formed as a byproduct of the collisions between protons, the nuclei of hydrogen atoms. The collider will provide far too much data for scientists to log all of it, so the first appearance of muons can be a signal that scientists need to record information on collisions taking place at that time.
According to Professor Henry Lubatti from the university of Washington, "They are like little messengers that tell us a potentially interesting event may have occurred, a signal that we should look more closely at that event." Potentially that could lead to direct evidence of the elusive Higgs boson.
"That's just one example of the detector's value. There are many other interactions that produce high-energy muons, so it is very important to be able to observe these," said Lubatti. The Large Hadron Collider could also lead to better understanding of the fourth fundamental force - gravity - in terms of particle interactions, and help solve the puzzle of why gravity, while perhaps most recognizable to a lay observer, is the weakest of the fundamental forces.