India’s connections with the discovery of the Higgs Boson
On this day when the United States celebrates the 236th anniversary of its independence, a European organization announced the probable discovery of the last major subatomic particle in the construct known to physicists as the “standard theory.”. Two decades ago the US government cancelled the proposed Super C onducting Super-Collider which would have been a larger accelerator than the Large Hadron Collider where the discovery announced today was made.
There are two threads that tie this to India:
- Some of the key components and subsystems of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) were designed by the Raja Ramanna Center for Advanced Technology, Indore (RRCAT); a facility that my colleagues and clients have visited. For example, the LHC has 1,600 superconducting magnets along its 27 km circumference for bending focusing the beams. Each magnet weighs more than 32 tons and has a length of 15 meters. The India lab carried out design, development and supply of 6,800 alignment jacks for the huge magnet assemblies of LHC. These magnet assemblies are positioned with a displacement resolution of 50 micrometers all along the 27 km length using jacks. These “Precision Magnet Positioning System Jacks”, enable one person to move the magnet and position it with a very high setting resolution comparable to the breadth of human hair. The jacks have to maintain these positions for a long time under the action of variable transverse forces. In fact the set position should remain within 100 micrometers when the transverse force reaches a value of 0.5 ton and within 1 mm under a transverse load of 8 tons. Read about additional collaboration from RRCAT at http://www.cat.gov.in/technology/accel/mal/lhc.html.
- There is much reporting about Peter Higgs, the British scientist who proposed the idea of this new particle in the 1960s. If you want to know the origin of the term Boson, however, you need to turn to Satyendra Nath Bose, a Calcutta physicist whose seminal works are often ignored by Western media. Indian media is remembering SN Bose today as in this story on NDTV: http://www.ndtv.com/article/people/who-was-satyendra-nath-bose-239636 . Bose received recognition in his native India where he spent most of his life and his became the foundation of Nobel prizes awarded to others later but he himself was never honored beyong the naming of bosons, and of Bose Einstein statistics.
(SN Bose is not be confused with two other Boses with roots from India, Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagadish_Chandra_Bose or Dr. Amar G Bose, founder of the sound/speaker company who is of Indian origin but an American native http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amar_G._Bose )