What, exactly, is a Higgs boson?Fundamentally speaking, explained Melissa Franklin, Physics Department chair and Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, the Higgs boson is a subatomic particle, one of more than a dozen such particles, including quarks, electrons, muons, and neutrinos.This particle, however, is unique because its discovery acts as confirmation of the existence of the Higgs field. An invisible area, similar to the electromagnetic field, that permeates all of space, the Higgs field explains how the elementary particles that form the building blocks of all matter have mass. The field works by imparting mass to particles as they move through it. Because some particles move through the field very quickly, they take on less mass. Others, which move more slowly, take on more.“We believe it is there, but we don’t know for sure that there is a Higgs field,” Franklin explained. “Now that we’ve identified what we believe is a Higgs boson — the manifestation of the Higgs field — the evidence is much stronger that the field is there.”The potential implications of the Higgs discovery, however, don’t end there.The particle is also the final puzzle piece in the Standard Model, a theory that explains how three fundamental forces — the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces — interact to create the physical phenomena in the universe.One of two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the ATLAS particle detector was built in part on Harvard campus. The entire detector is 25 meters tall, 44 meters long and weighs approximately 7,000 tons. It uses superconducting magnets to help direct two beams of protons into a collision. After trillions of experiments, researchers believe they have found evidence of the Higgs boson in the decay of the sub-atomic particles that result from the collisions. Graphic courtesy of Harvard Department of Physics“The Higgs was the final piece of the puzzle,” Franklin said. “Now that we have identified a particle that appears to be the Higgs, we have a self-consistent Standard Model that should allow us to ‘write down’ the universe. There are some things that make us think this may not be the final theory — it doesn’t include gravity, for one — but this is an incredibly good description of the universe.”“If confirmed, this closes one important chapter in our understanding of nature,” said Joao Guimaraes da Costa, associate professor of physics. “In that sense, we are closer to understanding our universe and the physics involved in the early stages of the universe.”The apparent discovery of the Higgs, announced last week in Geneva, is the result of a decades-long effort to build the 17-mile-long Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The most powerful particle accelerator on the planet, it is used by scientists to smash beams of protons together. Those collisions can recreate the extreme energies generated just after the big bang that launched the universe, when scientists believe the Higgs boson was created. By studying the shower of subatomic particles from such collisions, researchers can identify the characteristic signature of the Higgs.Harvard’s involvement with the search for the Higgs began more than a decade ago, with Donner Professor of Science John Huth, who led efforts to build — at 38 Oxford St. in Cambridge — detectors to find the particles called muons, essentially heavy cousins of electrons and an important signature in the production and decay of the Higgs.Huth played a key role in solving a critical question related to the operation of the experiments: how to deliver the computing horsepower to capture and analyze the vast amount of data produced by the experiments.The solution he and others helped to develop is called “grid computing.” Beginning with Europe’s CERN center as “Tier 0,” data is farmed out to a number of “Tier 1” national or regional data centers, and then on to “Tier 2” centers, typically located at major universities. The final step is to pass data down to “Tier 3” centers, where individual research groups can analyze it. Now the standard for LHC computing, the system has been widely employed by other research groups, including several at Harvard Medical School.Harvard now is host to both a Tier 2 and Tier 3 center, and stores more than a petabyte of data — equivalent to more than 13 years of high-definition video — on disk and in a large number of computer processing units. Over the years, Huth has also played key administrative roles, overseeing everything from experiments to data analysis and computing efforts, both at CERN and in the United States.“Our group consists of four professors, seven postdocs, and 10 graduate students,” said Professor of Physics Masahiro Morii. “We even have five undergraduate students working with us. Many of us have everyday responsibilities in operating the experiment and ensuring the quality of the data being recorded. Each of us is also involved in analyzing the recorded data to extract interesting physics.”While researchers say there is strong suggestive evidence that the newly discovered particle is the mysterious Higgs boson, many were also quick to point out that the results are not yet definitive. According to Guimaraes da Costa, the chances that the particle is not the Higgs are about one in 1.8 million, approximately the same odds that the average person may die in an airplane crash.“That is a very small probability, but people do die in airplane accidents,” Guimaraes da Costa said. “That explains why we have been reluctant to claim outright that this is a discovery. We instead prefer to call this an observation.”In the coming months, Huth said, researchers from Harvard and other institutions will continue to run experiments and analyze data with the aim of determining whether the new particle is, in fact, the Higgs.“The story of the Higgs boson is not finished,” Guimaraes da Costa said. “We are still working very hard, as we speak, to analyze more data. We still need to prove that this is really the Higgs boson and not some other type of particle.“To do that, we will need at least all the data that will be collected this year, and perhaps more. To collect that data, LHC operation has been extended by three months before the accelerator is shut down for two years to allow for upgrades and improvements. By then, we hope to be in the race for even more spectacular discoveries.”[vimeo 41038445 w=480 h=630]
NEW YORK (AP) — Super Bowl ads each year offer a snapshot of the American psyche _ and this year it’s a doozy. After a year of turmoil as the coronavirus upended countless lives, a tumultuous election that led to a riot at the Capitol, and uncertainty at times if there would even BE a Super Bowl, marketers aim to comfort and connect, So Will Ferrell is teaming with GM to promote electric vehicles. Amazon shows a woman’s new Alexa assistant that looks like the actor Michael B. Jordan. And more than 20 new advertisers are taking the stage.
Zachary Levi & Laura Benanti of ‘She Loves Me’ Show Closed This production ended its run on July 10, 2016 Laura Benanti She Loves Me Related Shows View Comments Star Files Good morning, good day! Audiences have been falling head over heels for She Loves Me since its March 17 opening—but don’t ask leading lovers Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi to quote the reviews. The rom-com revival’s stars stopped by The Today Show on March 22 to reveal why they don’t read them—and indulged in some vanilla ice cream of course! “If they’re bad, you have to go out and be like ‘I’m terrible!’” Benanti said. “If they’re great, then you’re like ‘What’s that thing that made me great?’ It just makes you self-conscious.” Her character Amalia spends enough time wondering “Will He Like Me?” onstage. Luckily, Benanti, Levi and the rest of the cast like each other very much. She Loves Me is currently running at Studio 54. Treat yourself to watching the adorable sit-down below! Zachary Levi read more
A viral video showing the burial at sea of an Indonesian crew member who allegedly endured poor working conditions aboard a Chinese fishing vessel has exposed the lack of regulations that could have protected him and other migrant workers on the ship.The video, which went viral last week, was confirmed by Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi who said that the fisherman in the video was one of four Indonesian crew members registered to Chinese longliner Long Xin 629 who had died between December 2019 and April of this year.Indonesian sailors who had worked aboard the vessel spoke anonymously to South Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). They said the migrant workers aboard the ship had endured poor living conditions, such as having to work for 30-hour stretches. They said they were also made to drink filtered sea water aboard the ship, which eventually took a toll on their health. “Some agencies are fighting over the powers to potentially be introduced by these regulations. In this case, [the contention is] among the Transportation Ministry, the Manpower Ministry and the Indonesian Migrant Workers Protection Agency [BP2MI],” Wahyu said.The 2017 law has been hailed by activists as an improvement from the 2004 law, marking a shift in the government’s focus from a probusiness perspective to a protection-first perspective.The law requires a set of implementing government regulations to be issued by November 2019 or two years after the law’s enactment. However, to date, the Manpower Ministry, as the leading institution, has yet to issue any regulations that could have protected the sailors.The Foreign Ministry is now pushing for the deliberation of a government regulation on the protection of the crews of fishing and commercial vessels.The government, Retno said, should supervise more strictly the recruitment of Indonesian sailors by foreign shipowners and should fully examine their employment contracts.“We call for the business processes – including the placement of crew members on longline fishing vessels – to be improved through better protection of their rights,” Retno said.According to the 2014-2016 Global Slavery Index by Australia-based human rights group Walk Free, migrant workers in the maritime and fisheries sector, especially fishing crews, were among the most exploited groups experiencing modern slavery.“There are hundreds of thousands of Indonesian crew members on fishing vessels trapped in this modern slavery,” Wahyu said.Retno lamented that the regulations governing fishing vessel crews, particularly those working on longliners, were very limited, unlike commercial vessels whose operations were regulated in detail in the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) 2006 Maritime Labor Convention.“For the crews of longline fishing vessels, they are protected by no – or very limited – international rules,” she said. “This will also be a priority for [Indonesian] diplomacy: encouraging the establishment of international legal norms to regulate the protection of crews on these fishing vessels.”Mas Achmad Santosa of the Indonesian Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI) pointed out that Indonesia could instead start by ratifying ILO’s 2007 Work in Fishing Convention, which specifically regulates the protection of fisheries crews.The convention establishes a minimum working age, standard work agreements and crew protections. It also requires governments to adopt national regulations to ensure vessel owners provide for the health and safety of crew members.“Even though, in 2016, Indonesia ratified the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention, which regulates social security, workers’ rights and fair employment opportunities for seafarers, the convention excludes protection for the crews of fishing vessels,” Mas Achmad said.Topics : Migrant Care executive director Wahyu Susilo said the incidents exposed the grim conditions of Indonesian migrant workers, especially those who worked in the maritime sector.“The Foreign Ministry is obviously facing difficulties in handling such cases, mainly because of jurisdictional problems. A case can occur on a fishing vessel with a flag different from its company’s country of origin, and it may be sailing in the territory of yet another country or in international waters,” he said. “But whatever the situation is, the government should provide universal protection for Indonesian fishermen.”The vulnerability of Indonesian migrant workers in the maritime and fisheries sector is exacerbated by the lack of adequate protections.Even though the government enacted the Migrant Worker Protection Law in 2017, it has yet to issue the implementing regulations mandated by the law. read more
It has invested in nearly 250 projects that could generate up to £15 billion in value to the UK economy. This includes changing how they generate energy, preparing facilities to operate remotely and also cutting the cost of hydrogen generation. He will succeed Archie Kennedy who has been vice chair and chair of the OGTC since 2017. It aims to accelerate technology to support the UK’s transition to a net zero economy. The OGTC was established in 2016 with £180 million of funding as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal. CEO Colette Cohen OBE, said: Posted: 5 months ago Technology “Despite the significant economic challenges facing country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, governments and industry remain committed to delivering net zero. OGTC Integrates OGIC More recently, the OGTC also created a Net Zero Solution Centre. “The OGTC therefore has a crucial role in developing technologies to enable the oil and gas sector to be a valued part of the transition.” It supports a host of companies focused on reducing carbon emissions. Posted: 5 months ago “Martin’s extensive experience and strategic leadership will be invaluable as we accelerate technology to support the post-Covid-19 recovery and deliver a net zero North Sea. Martin Gilbert, chair, said: Categories: The Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) has appointed Martin Gilbert as chair of the Aberdeen-based research and technology organisation. Gilbert was a founding director of Aberdeen Asset Management and was instrumental in its £11-billion merger with Standard Life. read more