Scientists and students at Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI) here are an excited bunch waiting to get all the data regarding the big discovery of the Higgs boson-like particle in the Large Hadron Collider experiment at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) near Geneva yesterday.
HRI, like many other Indian institutions, was involved in the gigantic Higgs boson project and will continue to be associated with it for further data analysis.
“I have told my students not to sleep for the next month because a lot of data will be generated by this experiment and we will need to analyse them. Our workload has increased and we are excited about it,” said Professor Biswarup Mukhopadhyaya, lead member of the HRI team involved in the project. “Of course, we will have to wait for a few more years before we are sure that this was the particle that everybody has been looking for.”
He added, “Constant interactions with theoretical and experimental physicists at CERN and other countries for further data analysis are going to be the order of the day. We already have some data, but will get the details a little later.”
HRI director Jayanta Kumar Bhattacharya said: “We are an institute for research in theoretical physics. Our involvement has largely been on the peripheral side, mostly concerned with data analysis. But we made some pertinent calculations. It is a great pleasure to be part of such a huge experiment.”
Built in 2007, the Regional Centre for Accelerated-Particle Physics (RECAPP) at HRI (an aided institution of Department of Atomic Energy), with its dedicated high bandwidth Internet connection and high storage capacity computers, had been the nerve centre for the analysis and interactions by the HRI team with those at CERN and other countries.
“Between 12 noon and 3 pm yesterday, the RECAPP was packed as we saw the entire event beamed from Geneva. We were anxious initially but were excited to hear the announcement,” said Mukhopadhyaya.
Although the actual experiment at CERN began in 2009, the preparatory work on it has been going on for a long time. HRI has been involved in the preparations for this experiment since the late 1990s, said the professor.
Elaborating on HRI’s association with the project, Mukhopadhyaya said: “The team here was concerned with two main aspects: possibility of new theories of physics related to Higgs boson and how strong interaction modifies the production of the Higgs boson.” He added