Schreiber Science

Hannah Fagen, Editor in Chief

While Schreiber’s science classes took a break over the summer, the professional science world was certainly busy during the summer months.

On July 4, two groups at CERN, also known as the European Organization for Nuclear Research, announced to the public that they had each discovered the Higgs boson particle, often referred to the “God particle.”  Scientists have long suspected that this particle, which may be responsible for giving elementary particles their mass exists, but it was not until this summer that scientists were able to provide evidence of its existence.

“I thought the discovery was cool. It is definitely a big step,” said science teacher Mr. Michael Campanella.  “It’s already been on The Big Bang Theory.”

The first extensive search began at CERN in the early 1990s, with the help of a machine known as a Large Hadron Collider.  The machine was used to detect the Higgs boson particle, which was only apparent for one septillionth, or 1/1024 of a second.

About one month after CERN’s announcement of the Higgs boson, NASA had a news blitz of its own when the largest and most technologically sophisticated rover to date, Curiosity, landed on Mars after the organization launched the rover into space last November.

“I loved seeing people who were so passionate about science have such great success,” said senior Lani Hack.

The rover, which is approximately the size of a modern car, landed on Mars’ surface on August 5.  The landing was shown live on the NASA website and in Times Square, where more than 1,000 spectators gathered to watch between one and two in the morning.

“I wish I could have gone to see it land this summer,” said senior Jillian Knoll.

NASA has since reported, on Sept 27, that Curiosity located what was inarguably once a streambed on the surface of Mars.

The discovery of the Higgs Boson particle and Curiosity’s landing on Mars were not the only science and health related stories to grace the headlines of major news outlets this summer.

July was the hottest month on record since weather forecasters began recording temperatures in 1895. These high temperatures caused droughts which sparked the US Department of Agriculture to declare almost half of all US counties disaster zones.  The American Academy of Pediatrics caused waves when they reversed their previously neutral stance on routine infant circumcision in favor of a policy, which, while still leaving the decision up to families, officially recognized the merits of the procedure.  In other news, Stanford University released the results of a several-year-long study that indicate that the more expensive and “healthier” organic meats and produce may actually bear no significant health benefits.

The science world is ever-changing, and new discoveries are made every day; this summer was no exception.