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.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Kaslo council says it was overlooked in long-term care announcement

“We’re fed up … They have ignored every attempt we’ve made to contact them”

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

Bear put down after being found on Vancouver Island kitchen counter

Bear trapped and killed near Ucluelet after repeated instances of entering sheds and homes

Who can dismiss the Governor General? A look at protocols and possibilities

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the prime minister

Second phase of NHL draft lottery set for Monday

Each club eliminated from qualifying round has a 12.5 per cent shot at the No. 1 pick

University of Victoria, rowing coach sued over alleged ‘fat shaming’ and verbal abuse

Lawsuit says Barney Williams subjected coxswain Lily Copeland to offensive and belittling language

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Most Read