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Graphene Could Help Physicists Probe the Higgs Boson's Secrets

• popsci.com

One of the most promising materials in science could answer some questions about one of the most elusive particles in the universe, according to a new paper. A trio of Spanish physicists believes that graphene, that simple, special Nobel-winning stuff, could provide some key insights into the behavior of the Higgs boson.

When you compress graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon, it ripples. This is related to the graphene’s energy potentials. Spontaneous symmetry breaking — fluctuations that dictate what happens next — cause the ripple effect.

Pablo San-Jose, Francisco Guinea, and Jose Gonzalez at Madrid's Institute for Material Science say this is analagous to the symmetry breaking that happened in a blink after the Big Bang.

 

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