Dr. Morgan Dehnel (right) poses alongside his brother Kurt (left) with the beamline simulation software they sold to CERN.

Nelson scientists help solve the God particle puzzle

A Nelson specialist firm contributed to efforts in Switzerland that recently resulted in the discovery of the Higgs Boson

A Nelson specialist firm for particle accelerator components and software contributed to efforts in Switzerland that recently resulted in the discovery of the Higgs Boson, also known as the God particle.

“We have quoted on jobs at CERN,” said Dr. Morgan Dehnel who is a part owner of D-Pace. “We actually haven’t won any hardware contracts there, but we have sold an ion optics beamline simulator software. So that’s our direct connection.

“The software though is relatively basic. They might use for some initial sorting out of some sort of beamline or something like that. They have have much, much more sophisticated and precise softwares that they would use for final work.” said Dehnel.

This particular discovery marks a major milestone for the physics community, as it furthers humans’ understanding of the universe. The Higgs Boson is a particle that fits into the Standard Model and helps unify it.

“The Standard Model has a variety of particles like quarks, photons, leptons, electrons and so forth. The model was predicted to follow with the data that they [scientists] found, but to make it all work they then realized that there must be certain other particles that hadn’t been discovered yet,” he said.

“They found quite a few of them. So that’s what gave them the idea for the standard model, but there were a few missing parts. Over the years they have been chipping away and discovering new particles, and the Higgs Boson is the last main one. At this stage it’s completing the Standard Model.”

The Higgs Boson is what is believed to communicate mass to particles, just as photons communicate light. Currently, there are no real world applications for this discovery, but scientists like Dehnel are hopeful there one day will be.

“It will be interesting to see what comes out of it,” said Dehnel. “A lot of people think our government is angling towards the idea that research must be applied, but it doesn’t work like that. At a certain point in the 1930s we discovered the neutron. They thought ‘How are we going to use this,’ but now we use neutrons for all sorts of things.

“Right now there is no practical purpose of the Higgs Boson, but in the future there may be ways we could use it.”

The research of the world’s scientists is never done though, as there are still pieces to the puzzle that need to be solved.

“I don’t think we will ever figure out how everything works. That’s why you call it a model,” said Dehnel. “These models enable us to work with nature and to do things, and that’s how we can confirm that something, in how we are modeling things, must be right.”

 

 

Just Posted

Firesmart program has homeowners ‘thinking like an ember’

RDCK offering free home assessments to protect homes from wildfires

RDCK issues evacuation order to Deer Creek residents

Local state of emergency declared in the area because of Deer Creek fire

Delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

DriveBC reminding travellers the area is an active wildfire zone and warning of fallen debris.

Nelson designer raises money for New York Fashion Week trip

Lillea Goian will show off her work next month

Trail company bids to replace Greyhound for Nelson-Kelowna run

Silver City Stage Lines has applied to the Passenger Transportation Board

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Lightning blamed for most recent regional fires

Southeast Fire Centre says 90 per cent of the 342 fires recently reported are lightning-caused

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Most Read