A talk at Chicon 7. Friday, August 31, 2012. This was one of the best science talks I have heard in my life.
So You Want to Discover the Higgs Boson?
The Large Hadron Collider in Geneva recently announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson, the particle long theorized to give mass to matter. But how do physicists detect particles… and how do we know this one is the Higgs? Hear a Ph.D. physicist teach the basics of particle detector technology (no physics background required!) and answer your questions about the massive machines used to study the smallest stuff in nature.
The Higgs Boson appears in these experiments as a virtual particle.
She talked at length about the particle detectors.
The deflection of a charged particle in a magnetic field gives us its momentum. To get the energy calorimeters are used.
Given the momentum p and the energy E, the mass m can be calculated from Einstein’s equation:
E2 = m2c4 + p2c2
See also Everything must fit nicely together.