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July 4, 2012 | By Eryn Brown and Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Scientists continue to celebrate the announcement Wednesday that in all probability, the long-sought Higgs boson - a.k.a. the “God particle” - has been detected at a European atom-smasher outside Geneva. For the physics community as a whole, it's a confirmation of its theories about why there is mass in the universe. For one particular physicist, it means that a payoff of rare chocolate coins is in the offing. In 2005, MIT physicists Frank Wilczek and Janet Conrad made a friendly wager.
July 2, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For Science Now
As physicists prepare to announce highly anticipated results concerning the elusive "God particle" on Wednesday, scientists in the U.S. announced Monday that they've found evidence for the existence of what's known as the Higgs boson. Researchers at the Fermilab Tevatron accelerator near Batavia, Ill., have pulled together their final findings in the search for the elusive Higgs boson. Their announcement comes just two days before scientists using the powerful Large Hadron Collider at the European particle-physics center CERN plan to unveil highly anticipated results from their high-energy, proton-smashing experiments.
July 2, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Science Now blog
The Internet is crackling with rumors following news reports that the long-sought Higgs boson -- popularly referred to as the "God particle" -- has been detected and that physicists at the Large Hadron Collider atom-smasher CERN, near Geneva, will announce the discovery in a news conference July 4. Physicists have been speculating for months that the particle's discovery would be the topic of CERN's scheduled news conference Wednesday, but Britain's...
March 20, 2012 | By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times
Two California researchers whose groundbreaking work has documented the dangers of air pollution have been awarded the 2012 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. John H. Seinfeld, a professor of chemical engineering at Caltech, was recognized for research leading to a greater understanding of the origin, chemistry and evolution of particles in the atmosphere. Seinfeld's work has helped foster efforts to control the effects of air pollution on public health. Seinfeld's recent work includes research into how soot billowing from diesel trucks and industrial smokestacks contributes to climate change and how biogenic emissions from plants and trees affects air quality.
January 24, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
A massive explosion on the sun's surface has triggered the largest solar radiation storm since 2005 and has unleashed a torrent of charged plasma particles toward Earth, though the threat to satellites, power grids and other high-tech hardware is believed to be manageable, scientists said. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration detected a solar flare Sunday night that peaked at 7:59 p.m. Pacific time. NOAA satellites traced the bright flash of X-ray light to an area on the sun's surface known as region 1402 - the same area that had produced a weaker flare Thursday.
December 13, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Physicists announced Tuesday that they had detected "tantalizing hints," but not definitive proof, of the long-sought Higgs boson, the so-called God particle that is crucial to physicists' understanding of why mass exists in the universe. Two large teams of scientists based at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva separately saw what they believe are telltale tracks of the maddeningly elusive particle in the aftermath of about 400 trillion proton collisions carried out since January.
December 9, 2011 | Eryn Brown
Scientists are quivering with anticipation -- flying halfway around the world for a close-up view of the action and devouring the latest updates from the blogosphere the way some girls track the doings of Justin Bieber. Careers hang in the balance. Not to mention a cache of chocolate handed out by the folks who award Nobel Prizes. All the fuss is over an elusive subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, which is key to understanding mass in the universe. No one has ever presented proof of its existence, but that may be about to change.
November 20, 2011 | By Troy Wolverton
Televisions, computer monitors and smartphones display only a fraction of the colors the human eye can see. But thanks to a new technology developed by a Silicon Valley nanotechnology company, they may soon get a lot more colorful. Nanosys, which works with materials up to 100,000 times thinner than a human hair, has crafted a thin film laden with minuscule particles that can be placed inside a display to dramatically boost the color range it can show. "Around 30% of what the eye can actually perceive in the real world, your TV can reproduce faithfully," said Jason Hartlove, chief executive of the Palo Alto company.
October 1, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
After smashing atoms together for 26 years, the Tevatron particle accelerator powered down on Friday. The 4-mile-long ring-shaped accelerator, located at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., was built to hurl tiny bits of matter at each other in the hopes that they would break apart into the basic building blocks of the universe. Though the Tevatron made major discoveries, it became essentially obsolete after the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva began conducting experiments in 2009.
September 23, 2011 | By Eryn Brown and Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Albert Einstein had the idea. A century of observations have backed it up. It's one of the cornerstones of physics: Nothing travels faster than the speed of light. But now a team of experimental physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, says that one exotic particle possibly can. The scientists reached their conclusion after sending streams of tiny, subatomic particles called neutrinos hurtling from an accelerator at CERN outside Geneva to a detector at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, about 450 miles away.
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