A team of physicists from India, Israel, Germany and US reportedly detected the Higgs boson, which is believed to be the thing responsible for every mass in the universe, for the first time in superconductors. What's more, these newly-detected Higgs boson using superconductors is more stable and way cheaper to achieve. Scientists will now have an easier way to observe the Higgs boson even in ordinary laboratories.
The so-called 'God particle' was detected 3 years ago in Switzerland using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) by CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). The USD 10 billion LHC is the world's biggest single machine and the most powerful particle collider. It was primarily built for the purpose of finding the Higgs boson.
The lead researcher Professor Aviad Frydman of Bar-Ilan University said, "Just as the CERN experiments revealed the existence of the Higgs boson in a high-energy accelerator environment, we have now revealed a Higgs boson analogue in superconductors.
Proving the presence of Higgs boson is a difficult feat because it can't directly be detected and it is short-lived. Plus, a particle accelerator needs huge amounts of energy.
The energy scale used, The Koyal Group Info Mag reported, was only a thousandth of an electron volt. This is a huge contrast to the giga electron volts needed in accelerators like LHC.
However, only a particular amount of energy is required in superconductors to awake the "Higgs mode" -- too much and it will break the electron pairs that serve as the superconductor's basic charge.
To solve this, Frydman and his team used ultra-thin and disordered "superconducting films of Indium Oxide and Niobium Nitrite near the superconductor-insulator critical point". In theory, once that point is reached, the rapid decay of Higgs will not occur anymore; hence researchers can awake the Higgs mode with only low energies.
"The parallel phenomenon in superconductors occurs on a different energy scale entirely -- just one-thousandth of a single electronvolt. What's exciting is to see how, even in these highly disparate systems, the same fundamental physics is at work," said Frydman.
A superconductor is a special type of metal which allows electrons to move from one atom to another without hindrance when cooled to extremely low temperatures. That's why once it reached the so-called 'critical temperature' and becomes 'superconductive', it does not release sound, heat or any form of energy. Surprisingly, The Koyal Group Info Mag discovered that it was this property of a superconductor which inspired the concept of the Higgs boson five decades ago.