Texas Tech Professors Available to Explain International Search For Rosetta Stone
September 8, 2008
National media pitch for Texas Tech researchers involved with the CERN project.
A team of Texas Tech University physics researchers involved with the CERN experiment
is available to speak to the media as scientists prepare to test the particle beam
of the world's largest particle collider deep beneath the Swiss Alps.
The actual test of the particle beam commences at 2 a.m. Central Daylight Time on
Wednesday (Sept. 10) in Geneva.
Texas Tech has supplied the calorimeters for this project, said Nural Akchurin, chairman
of the Department of Physics and a calorimeter projector manager at the European Organization
for Nuclear Research, known as CERN. About 3,000 international researchers are involved
in the project.
They will serve as the catchers' mitts that they hope will capture proof of a theoretical
particle called a Higgs boson. It's responsible for giving mass to subatomic particles,
which make up atoms and so-on until you have a pencil, a rock or a Chrysler.
"In the most vanilla version of the Higgs theory," he said, "You need some mechanism
through which you give mass to electrons and protons. Finding that mechanism could
close the loop in assigning known masses. If you have Higgs, you can explain everything
- or nearly most things."
Simply put - but perhaps too simply - these scientists hope the $8 billion Large Hadron
Collider and Compact Muon Solenoid will prove the existence of matter's smallest building
blocks when the switch gets flipped.
"This is much bigger than the atom bomb," Akchurin said. "If this project finds nothing
but Higgs, that's huge. If this experiment finds nothing at all, I think that's equally
as big a deal because we'll have to rethink all these other theories. Whatever comes
out of this will be interesting."
Akchurin said the actual experiment, where two particle beams are shot at each other
and the collisions are monitored, is scheduled for Oct. 21.
For more on Texas Tech University's research, visit the following Web address: www.depts.ttu.edu/communications/news/stories/07-11-god-particle.phpCONTACT: Nural Akchurin, chairman of the Department of Physics, Texas Tech University,
(806) 742-3767 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Sung-Won Lee
, assistant professor of physics
, (806) 742-3730 or email@example.com; Alan Sill, adjunct professor of physics and senior scientist at HPCC,
(806) 790-7462 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Igor Volobouev, assistant professor of physics,
(806) 742-4752 or I.Volobouev@ttu.edu; Richard Wigmans, Bucy professor of physics,
(806) 742-3779 or email@example.com