the Higgs boson, but something new that looks like it,
that would result in rewriting longstanding scientific
"Science isn't about being right and not
holding to today's ideas. If that means we need to throw
out our current theory, so be it," Lincoln says. If
the discovery is indeed Higgs boson, there will be other
questions for scientists to answer. The most pressing
question-Why Are We Here?-may be Lincoln's
"I'm having a blast doing what I'm doing,"
says Lincoln, who specializes in searching for
subatomic particles smaller than quarks. "The universe is
an amazingly mysterious place, but mankind is teasing
out its mysteries. But, even with the questions
that remain unanswered, our current understanding is
Lincoln, who earned his Ph.D. in
|Rose-Hulman alumnus Don
Lincoln, Ph.D., joined scientists throughout the world
this summer in celebrating the discovery of a new particle,
one with similar characteristics belonging to
the long-sought Higgs boson.
This may be the last missing piece of the
Standard Model of particle physics.
Lincoln (PH/MA, 1986) is a senior researcher
at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a
U.S. Department of Energy site dedicated to exploring the
frontiers of high energy physics. He also spends research
time at Switzerland's CERN Large Hadron Collider, where
the groundbreaking discovery was made.
The search for Higgs boson dates back
|to the turn of the 20th Century
when scientists were trying to understand atoms. In the
1960s, physicists developed The Standard Model, which explains
the elementary particles and forces that make up the
universe as we know it. However, there has been one remaining
mystery- the mass of the subatomic particles. The Higgs
boson is believed to be a particle or set of particles that
might give others mass.
"We know what we found is something new,"
Lincoln says. "Metaphorically, it certainly looks like and
smells like the Higgs boson, but now we need to
verify the other three senses."
That verification may come in December or
early next year. If it is
Rice University, has co-authored more than 500
scientific publications. He is an adjunct professor at
the University of Notre Dame. He also has written
two books about particle physics, both of which give more
details about the Higgs boson and how scientists have
searched for it.
He is a strong proponent of bringing the
physics frontier to general audiences, and has given many
public lectures on science matters. Earlier this year he
was also a finalist to present at TED2013, and is working
with the TED organization to develop science animations as
part of their TED-ED initiative.