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“This is what physicists look like when they’re excited. And also missing quite a few nights of sleep, I would imagine.”
Joe Lykken, Fermilab, about the state of excitement at Fermilab after the last of the Tevatron data was released, The Chicago Tribune, July 2, 2012.
“It looks like a Higgs; it quacks like a Higgs; but we need DNA tests (more data) to make sure it is the Higgs… For now, it is time to celebrate a little and spike the ball in the end zone.”
Michael Turner, University of Chicago, The Washington Post, July 4 2012.
“[I]n 1935, Hideki Yukawa (a Japanese theoretical physicist) predicted the existence of a particle, now called the pion, based on trying to understand nuclear reactions. The next year a particle was found in the right mass range. But further study showed that the particle that had been found did not have the right properties to be a pion, and instead was something completely unexpected, the muon.”
Paul Padley, Rice University, on why physicists have to be careful in declaring the Higgs boson “found,” The Houston Chronicle, July 4, 2012.
“The theory didn’t tell us how heavy it would be, so we had to search over a large range for it… We really did design the Large Hadron Collider to be able to cover that whole range and get some kind of answer, eventually.”
William Ford, University of Colorado Boulder, on the discovery of the Higgs Boson, The Denver Post, July 5, 2012.
“It is a momentous event and I am proud to be living in these historic times. Our 40-year quest for solving a puzzle is almost ending… Now we have to find out if this new particle really is the Higgs of the Standard Model or has properties which deviate from standard expectations and if there are other new particles to be discovered.”
Meenakshi Narain, Brown University, LiveScience via the Christian Science Monitor, July 5, 2012.
“We, scientists, speak mathematics… This is our language–it is precise and clear, while hard to communicate to those who don’t speak this language.”
Dmitri Denisov, Fermilab, The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2012.
“Leon Lederman is a charming and amusing guy. I know him. He’s always making jokes. I have no idea why that book was called The God Particle. Many physicists think it was a terrible name. I don’t mind it myself.”
Robert Orr, University of Toronto, on the origin of the term “God Particle,” The Globe and Mail, July 6, 2012.
It’s not at all sure yet that it is the same as the simple vanilla Higgs of the standard model of particle physics. In fact, we’re all hoping that it’s not. It’ll be much more interesting to find something even more complicated.”
Sean Carroll, Caltech, Talk of the Nation, July 6, 2012.
“[I]t was too early in the morning for alcohol… But this was a historical moment in particle physics–the thing people have been awaiting for 30 years.”
Manfred Paulini, Carnegie Mellon University, on why he didn’t have a glass of champagne after the discovery of the Higgs, The Pittsburg Post-Gazette, July 10, 2012.
“I don’t think I understood at the time what a career in physics might look like. I thought I might end up being a television weatherman.”
Nigel Lockyer, TRIUMF, on what he first thought when a professor recommended he pursue physics, The Vancouver Sun, July 13, 2012.
“’Ms Milani’ told me she liked older men and was tired of photo shoots… She was very convincing and I fell for the story.”
Paul Frampton, University of North Carolina, quoted from an Argentinean newspaper on how he got lured into carrying two kilograms of cocaine onto an airplane in Argentina, The Telegraph, July 28, 2012.
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Editor: Alan Chodos