Study provides insight into the physics of the Higgs particle

June 27, 2018, University of Bonn
A graphic shows particle traces extending from a proton-proton collision at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012. The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of the Standard Model Higgs boson to a pair of photons. Further analysis of collisions in 2011 and 2012 has found evidence that the Higgs also decays into fermion particles, according to a new paper in Nature Physics to which Rice University scientists contributed. Credit: CERN

Physicists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in putting a superconducting gas into an exotic state. Their experiments allow new insights into the properties of the Higgs particle, but also into fundamental characteristics of superconductors. The publication, which is already available online, will soon appear in the journal Nature Physics.

For their experiments, scientists at the University of Bonn used a gas made of lithium atoms, which they cooled down significantly. At a certain temperature, the state of the gas changes abruptly: It becomes a superconductor that conducts a current without any resistance. Physicists also speak of a phase transition. A similar sudden change occurs with water when it freezes.

The lithium gas changes to a more orderly state at its phase transition. This includes the formation of so-called Cooper pairs, which are combinations of two atoms that behave like a single particle to the outside.

Partner-dancing atoms

These pairs behave fundamentally differently from individual atoms: They move together and can do so without scattering on other or pairs. This is the reason for the superconductivity. But what happens when you try to excite the pairs?

"We illuminated the gas with microwave radiation," explains Prof. Dr. Michael Köhl from the Physics Institute at the University of Bonn. "This allowed us to create a state in which the pairs start to vibrate and the quality of the superconductivity therefore oscillated very quickly: One moment the gas was a good superconductor, the next a bad one."

This common oscillation of the Cooper pairs corresponds to the Higgs boson discovered at the CERN Accelerator in 2013. As this state is very unstable, only a handful of working groups worldwide have succeeded in producing it.

The experiments allow an insight into certain physical properties of the Higgs boson. For example, the physicists hope that studies like these will enable them to better understand the decay of this extremely short-lived particle in the medium term.

Fast-switchable superconductors

But the experiments are also interesting for another reason: They show a way to switch superconductivity on and off very quickly. Superconductors normally try to remain in their conductive state for as long as possible. They can be dissuaded by heating, but this is a very slow process. The experiments show that in principle this can also be over a thousand times faster. This insight may open up completely new applications for .

The success of the Bonn scientists is also based on a successful cooperation between theory and experiment: "We theoretically predicted the phenomena," explains Prof. Dr. Corinna Kollath from the Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik at the University of Bonn. "During the experiments at the Physics Institute, Prof. Köhl and his colleagues knew exactly what to look for."

Explore further: Researchers track the ultrafast emergence of superconductivity

More information: A. Behrle et al. Higgs mode in a strongly interacting fermionic superfluid, Nature Physics (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41567-018-0128-6

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14 comments

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Lischyn
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 27, 2018
This write up has almost nothing to do with Higgs
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (6) Jun 27, 2018
I didn't have any trouble understanding why this experiment shows properties of the Higgs field, particularly not when the Higgs (amplitude) mode is emphasized over the Goldstone (phase) mode in the realm of condensed-matter. Perhaps you should have read the abstract for the paper instead of confusing the Higgs boson with the Higgs field.
ZoeBell
Jun 27, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Ensign_nemo
5 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2018
Hmmm ... if they can switch superconductors on and off fairly quickly, that might have some engineering applications in power electronics and sensors.

They'd need to figure out how to do it in a solid state device rather than a gas of lithium.

I doubt that they could do it fast enough to make it practical for computers, most CPUs run at several GHz these days.
jross
1 / 5 (6) Jun 28, 2018
There is no such thing as the Higgs Particle or the Higgs Field. Entrons add mass to other particles. Entrons are comprised of one plus "tronnie" and one minus "tronnie" traveling in a perfect circle at a speed of (pi)c/2. See my book, "Tronnies - The Source of the Coulomb Force"
available at amazon.com. or GOOGLE "tronnies" and "Ross"

John Ross
rrwillsj
3 / 5 (4) Jun 28, 2018
No thank you

Didn't you see the sign on the gate? "No Peddlers or Evangelists Permitted Entry"

If I wanted to be harassed by money-grubbing pests? I wouldn't have my in-laws blocked on my phone.
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 28, 2018
It's pretty funny to see someone denying about 50 years' worth of physics, especially when the Higgs particle was actually found. And nobody wants to read your book. This is not the advertising section; if you want to advertise pay physorg and perhaps they'll allow it.
milnik
1 / 5 (2) Jun 30, 2018
Higgs boson is an "abortus" or stillbirth particle, obtained by "artificial insemination" in the accelerator, but scientists do not know how this boson originated and why it disappears quickly. It is not a natural particle, because it is obtained in a way that science does not understand. Second, does science know what superconductivity is and what processes take place in matter so that currents can be conducted without resistance. If it does not, then science does not understand what is current, heat, resistance, temperature, and conductivity. All this shows that science has not understood what matter is, how it arises, what it forms and in which forms it persists.
rrwillsj
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2018
milnik, you realize that your argument against the reality of the Higgs boson? Could be used to argur against your own existence? i.e. your daddy spent his money on beer instead of condoms. A very short-lived event that spontaneously resulted in a phantom particle. That should be disregarded as a non-existent idiosyncrasy lacking any substance.
milnik
1 / 5 (2) Jul 01, 2018
@rrwillsj,
And you are formed as HB, many think that you exist, but you are a "virtually human being" without a consciousness, all your ability and behavior springs from your free will. You are a great "expert" in inventing insults and just idiots, like you, I can say so much about myself and my parents. Shame on you and escape from science, you are in the jungle with orangutans. Neither do you know what matter is, how it forms, and what is the basis of its existence. And you make up some of the particles that you artificially form in particle collisions, and nothing unknown from what forms God's deity. When you understand this, you will realize that you have to repent for the lowest and inhuman behavior. Make wise !!
ZoeBell
Jul 01, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
milnik
1 / 5 (1) Jul 01, 2018
The dumb opponents of mainstream science are the same disaster for matter of fact Socratic discussion, like the dumb proponents of it. And they should be handled accordingly.
What you said refers to those who deal with doctrine and think that they are all who form everything in the universe, ignoring the existence of their Creator. They are dealing with fictions and lies where a large sum of money can be borrowed from those who are interested in learning the truth, but they are ignorant both in scientific terms and in the understanding of the structure of the universe. Can these people in particle collisions, extract two protons and force them to destroy each other? Ask these experts

milnik
1 / 5 (1) Jul 01, 2018
@ZoeBell,
What you said refers to those who deal with doctrine and think that they are all who form everything in the universe, ignoring the existence of their Creator. They are dealing with fictions and lies where a large sum of money can be borrowed from those who are interested in learning the truth, but they are ignorant both in scientific terms and in the understanding of the structure of the universe. Can these people in particle collisions, extract two protons and force them to destroy each other? Ask these experts
rrwillsj
not rated yet Jul 01, 2018
Damn! I wished my grand-daddy had invested in the condom industry.
Instead of in that corn-licker kettle-still that blew up in his face.
Damn embarrassing. Such opportunity lost.

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