Dallas Observer science writer Brantley Hargrove interviewed SMU physicist Ryszard Stroynowski in advance of the announcement from CERN in Geneva about whether scientists have discovered the Higgs boson, a fundamental particle theorized to explain why matter has mass. Stroynowski and other SMU faculty and students have played a role in the recent findings as participants in the experiments.
Researchers at Switzerland-based CERN, the largest high-energy physics experiment in the world, have been seeking the Higgs boson since it was theorized in the 1960s. The so-called “God” particle is believed to play a fundamental role in solving the important mystery of why matter has mass.
By Brantley Hargrove
In the early morning hours Wednesday, physicists in Switzerland may announce that they’ve discovered the elusive “God Particle,” aka the Higgs boson.
For more than half a century, the Higgs has been the theoretical mechanism that imbued matter with mass after the Big Bang, so that the swirling chaos of the universe could coalesce into planets and, eventually, life. Since 1994, Southern Methodist University physics professor Ryszard Stroynowski has been involved in the construction of a device that could detect the presence of the Higgs in the Large Hadron Collider. Back in December, the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced they’d narrowed their search down to a small range of masses. Reached Tuesday, he was tight-lipped about Wednesday’s announcement.
“I’m involved with (one of two CERN experiments, known as ATLAS) and I can tell you that we’re confident and that we have enough data to cover whatever statements we’re making,” Stroynowski tells Unfair Park. The wording of that statement, though, will be carefully couched. [...]
[...] “It’s like opening a door to a completely new field, so it’s really exciting,” he says. “I have never seen what I call ‘Higgs-teria’ at this level. The amount of interest in the media is something which I have never seen in my entire professional life, over 40 years now.”
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools. For more information see www.smu.edu.
SMU has an uplink facility located on campus for live TV, radio, or online interviews. To speak with an SMU expert or book an SMU guest in the studio, call SMU News & Communications at 214-768-7650.