Search for Higgs Gets a Power Boost

Scientists have agreed on boosting power levels at the Large Hadron Collider by 14 percent. 2012 should settle once and for all the question of the Higgs boson's existence.

What's the Latest Development?


Determined to settle the question over the existence of the Higgs particle in 2012, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have reached an agreement to boost power levels at the world's largest physics experiment by 14 percent. In addition to that 14 percent, "improvements in data handling and the ability to focus those proton beams mean that the machine's 'luminosity'a measure of how intense and productive the collisions ultimately are should lead to a three-fold increase in data it produces compared to 2011."

What's the Big Idea?

The existence of the Higgs particle, possibly one of the earliest elements in the universe, is thought to have brought matter into existence, partially answering the age-old question: Why is there anything at all? But the LHC is already looking past the Higgs. Next November, the collider will take a 20 month hiatus while its hardware is upgraded. "That should result in an operating proton beam energy of 14 trillion electronvolts, or teraelectronvoltsdouble the energy used to date." The team's goal is to search for new physics.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
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Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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