- Describe the current theory of mass being tested at the LHC.
- Describe why knowing the mechanism for mass is important.
- Describe the LHC’s contribution to this search.
Inertia is one aspect of mass. The larger the mass of a resting object, the harder it is to move that object. But what causes mass? Is gravity related to particles the same way an atom’s charge depends on the protons and electrons it holds?
When you incorporate the standard model into the familiar formula for universal gravitational attraction you get a variable that keeps appearing in the mathematics.
The ATLAS experiment at the LHC is designed to search for this particle (Cox, 2008). Previous experiments have hinted toward this particle’s existence but were inconclusive. It has been determined that a more energetic collision is needed in a chamber with more sensitive detectors in an effort to find more conclusive evidence (CERN, “History,” 1999).