Public invited to help the Higgs find its siblings

July 5, 2016 by Harriet Kim Jarlett, CERN
These images show how particles appear in the ATLAS detector. The lines show the paths of charged particles travelling away from a collision at the centre. Volunteers are looking for tracks appearing 'out of thin air' away from the centre. Credit: CERN

A citizen science project, called HiggsHunters gives everyone the chance to help search for the Higgs boson's relatives.

Volunteers are searching through thousands of images from the ATLAS experiment on the HiggsHunters.org (link is external) website, which makes use of the Zooniverse (link is external) platform.

They are looking for 'baby Higgs bosons', which leave a characteristic trace in the ATLAS detector.

This is the first time that images from the Large Hadron Collider have been examined on such a scale - 60,000 of the most interesting events were selected from collisions recorded throughout 2012 - the year of the Higgs boson discovery. About 20,000 of those collisions have been scanned so far, revealing interesting features.

"There are tasks – even in this high-tech world – where the human eye and the human brain simply win out," says Professor Alan Barr of the University of Oxford, who is leading the project.

Over the past two years, more than twenty thousand amateur scientists, from 179 countries, have been scouring images of LHC collisions, looking for as-yet unobserved particles.

Dr Will Kalderon, who has been working on the project says "We've been astounded both by the number of responses and ability of people to do this so well, I'm really excited to see what we might find".

If you're interested in participating in more citizen science, the LHC@home project is a volunteer computing platform where you donate idle time on your computer to help physicists compare theory with experiment, in the search for new fundamental particles and answers to questions about the Universe.

Today, July 4 2016, is the fourth birthday of the Higgs boson discovery. Here, a toy Higgs is sat on top of a birthday cake decorated with a HiggsHunter event display. On the blackboard behind is the process people are looking for - Higgs-strahlung. Credit: Will Kalderon/CERN

Explore further: It's particle-hunting season! NYU scientists launch Higgs Hunters Project

Related Stories

Higgs boson machine-learning challenge

May 20, 2014

Last week, CERN was among several organizations to announce the Higgs boson machine-learning challengeExternal Links icon – your chance to develop machine-learning techniques to improve analysis of Higgs data.

Recommended for you

New study explores cell mechanics at work

June 19, 2018

It's a remarkable choreography. In each of our bodies, more than 37 trillion cells tightly coordinate with other cells to organize into the numerous tissues and organs that make us tick.

The secret to measuring the energy of an antineutrino

June 18, 2018

Scientists study tiny particles called neutrinos to learn about how our universe evolved. These particles, well-known for being tough to detect, could tell the story of how matter won out over antimatter a fraction of a second ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Jul 05, 2016
The non-existent Higgs has no children. Why? Is it simply a dysfunction of the doctorates that they can never be wrong, or is it simply stupidity.

https://drive.goo...4dWFJSDA

The way I look at science, with logic, above, not someone's imagination or with no understanding. Exploration does not begin with false expectations and science will not tolerate false assumptions. How can we look into the unknown and have precise expectation of what we will find. Asking a public will only give you more nonsense. Ask for papers built on logic that support Modern Science and erase the errors of the past. juz say'n

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.