Higgs – an exciting development
The Large Hadron Collider is an engineering and scientific triumph with thousands of people working together to gather and analyse data with the aim of unravelling the story of our universe.
Through the Higgs Hunters project you can become part of the team. The University of Oxford worked with the Zooniverse to engage twenty thousand citizen scientists on the search for an unusual particle they’re calling a “Baby Higgs”. It is expected to be found in pairs and is formed when a Higgs particle decays. These Baby Higgs particles leave a particular signature in the data captured in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. Through the Zooniverse project over 1 million classifications were made with citizen scientists flagging events that could potentially show these Baby Higgs particles.
The next step is to work through the classifications of data. The potential for finding new particles and new aspects of physics is very real. We are delighted to be working with Professor Alan Barr and Dr Will Kalderon on this project.
“It’s an obvious statement that among the school pupils of today are the scientific leaders of the future. Their ideas and experiments will change our understanding of the universe in ways that today we can’t even imagine.” Professor Alan Barr, Merton College, University of Oxford.
To get started with the project sign up with the Institute for Research in Schools. As part of this process let us know that you are interested in the Higgs project. You will then be issued with a username and password to give you access to the data.
- As with all of our projects, a signed agreement is required in order to get started. Once this has been received you will be given a set of log-in details for our data server: timepix.researchinschools.org Using these details log in and access the Higgs Hunters section. Begin by downloading the research guide and powerpoint slides.
- It is recommended that you read through the materials and watch the recording of the online seminar on our YouTube channel. Following this period of research return to the data server and download the starter exercises.
- Carry out your analysis (the approach taken is up to you but guidance on how to use Excel and some starter Python scripts are provided on our data server). Return your results to IRIS.