Indian scientists dismiss reports on ‘god particle’May 1st, 2011 - 12:15 pm ICT by IANS
Bhubaneswar, May 1 (IANS) Two Indian scientists have questioned reports that the long elusive sub-atomic Higgs boson or the “god particle” - a hypothetical particle believed to be a basic building block of matter - has been discovered, with one even denying the possibility of its physical existence.
B.G. Sidharth, director of the B.M. Birla Science Centre at Hyderabad, and Syed Afsar Abbas, professor at the physics department of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), expressed scepticism over the internal memo at CERN facility near Geneva that one of the Large Hadron Colliders (LHC) there had picked up signals that could indicate the Higgs boson.
“This is unofficially leaked news - such a thing has happened before,” Sidharth, who has authored several books and published research papers on particle physics and cosmology, told IANS.
Abbas, who has conducted research in particle and nuclear physics and cosmology, said similar claims of discovery of the Higgs boson were made earlier by Fermilab (in the US) where the Tevatron machine is engaged in a similar search, but later withdrawn.
CERN is the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.
“This new claim appears to be of similar nature. Basing serious judgments on such dubious claims is unscientific,” Abbas told IANS.
Bosons are small elementary particles (which cannot be subdivided into smaller particles) “carrying” forces of nature such as electro-magnetism and the strong and weak attraction in an atom’s nucleus.
The “Standard Model” of particle physics seeks to explain these forces through the interactions of photons and W and Z bosons with other elemental particles like electrons, quarks and others.
But it is not known what gives the W and Z bosons their mass.
In the 1960s, British physicist Peter Higgs developed the Higgs mechanism - visualising a sort of lattice filling the universe, which lends mass through a particle moving through it.
But for mathematical reasons, the giant masses of W and Z raise inconsistencies in the Standard Model. To address this, physicists contend that there must be at least one other particle - the Higgs boson.
While there is much evidence for the Higgs mechanism, attempts are on to prove the existence of the Higgs boson by Fermilabs and CERN, but no success has been reported yet.
According to Abbas, the Higgs boson does not exist.
Referring to a mathematical structure that he said he has proved in 1999, Abbas said the Standard Model actually does not allow Higgs to exist as a “particle”.
“I had shown that the Higgs mechanism is basic and fundamental to the Standard Model. The Higgs mechanism produces mass in the Standard Model. It quantizes electric charge in the Standard Model and does all other things, which make the Standard Model so successful.”
Higgs is the “vacuum” which does all the above things but does not exist as a physical particle, he said.
“My idea is well-known to all the particle physicists. But they tend to play down its importance as they have been spending billions of dollars of public money to look for this non-existent Higgs particle,” he claimed.
“However, ultimately, whether my picture is right or they are right will be decided by these experiments. I say look for it and you will not find it. I am right up to now as the Higgs particle has not been found,” he said.
Sidharth is, however, more open to the theory of the Higgs boson.
“It is not that I disapprove the Higgs boson theory, but there are alternative approaches, like the String Theory (which seeks to reconcile quantum theory and general relativity). There is also my own model based on what is called the non-commutative spacetime,” he said.
He said he had come out with new theoretical findings indicating a new force of nature in the cosmos apart from matter and anti-matter. This force operates between a particle and its anti-particle and can be seen only at very high energies generated by the Tevatron in Fermilab or LHC in Geneva.
Sidharth said his theory of the new theoretically predicted force and associated particle was based on intense research and observation, and a report on it will soon appear in the Journal of Theoretical Physics.
A large team of scientists called the CDF (Collider Detector at Fermilab) team also recently found evidence for the new force, as also the associated particle, he claims.
(Jatindra Dash can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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