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cms (cern)

Scientists at CERN say they've found a new particle consistent with the Standard Model Higgs boson with 5-sigma certainty — a false positive probability of about 1 in 9 trillion. Evidence of the particle's existence in the 126GeV mass range was gleaned from the CMS (video below) and ATLAS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva. CMS spokesperson Joe Incandela explains, "this is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found."

Definitely a new particle, but is it the Higgs?

Before the particle can be determined to be the Standard Model Higgs, scientists will need to find out more about its properties in order to rule out the possibility that it's something "more exotic." While the...

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Yesterday was the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day of the year when the sun was at its highest point in the sky. People around the world are welcoming the start of the new season by enjoying (or avoiding) the hot weather. In southern England, where yesterday brought heavy rains, pagans gathered at Stonehenge and reveled in spite of the downpour. Collected here are a handful of images of the beginning of Summer, 2012. [31 photos]

A Bengal tiger, sprayed with water by a zookeeper on a hot summer day at the Birsa Munda Zoological Park in Ranchi, India, on May 30, 2012. Zoo authorities are helping the animals cope with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104F) by providing coolers, special roofs and regular hose-downs. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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Whether you live in a town, city, or countryside, noise is everywhere. Urban planners and civil engineers have been taking noise into account, and, modern apartments often have pretty good sound insulation. But, lets face it, in the middle of the night, noises do tend to creep through (and sometimes make you wish you were at the party in the neighboring apartment).

New materials that have the potential to create acoustically shielded environments may be on the way. In the latest development, researchers have shown how creating materials that have meandering paths for sound waves can result in a negative acoustic index of refraction. More importantly, these materials may actually be manufacturable and work for sound waves in air—the stuff we might consider noise.

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