Collision 15425874568

Move the slider on the image below right or left to reveal or hide the tracks. Then read explanations below.

What was produced in this collision?

The tracks reveal that the following particles were produced at collision point:

  • 1 electron
  • 1 photon
  • 3 protons
  • 2 neutrons
  • 2 muons
  • 1 background noise particle (see below)

Have you found a Higgs boson ?

François Englert and Peter Higgs
François Englert and Peter Higgs at CERN on 4th July 2012, when the discovery of the Higgs boson was announced

You have not spotted any of the expected tracks from the desintegration of a Higgs boson produced at colision point.
Too bad: this collision cannot be counted as what physicists call a Higgs candidate...

Give it another try with another collision and don't be too disappointed: in reality it take billions of collisions in the LHC detectors before physicist can spot a Higgs candidate!

At CERN, the ATLAS and CMS experiments proved the existence of the Higgs boson which led to the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics to François Englert and Peter Higgs, two of the theorists who had predicted the Brout-Englert-Higgs Mechanism.

What is the strange track not passing by the collision point?

Cosmic Rays
Illustration of cosmic rays hitting the Earth's higher atmosphere and producing more collisions and particles.

The strange track that does not pass by the centre of the detector is probably left by a particle which was not produced by the collision. Such tracks are considered background noise, and should be ignored by the physicists when analyzing the tracks.

But where do they come from? Some of them come indirectly from space! We call them cosmic rays. Earth is bombarded by enormous quantities of particles. They may collide with other particles in higher atmosphere, producing new particles which will in turn collide further. Some particles will eventually hit our detector, leaving a trace that should be ignored for our research.