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ヒッグス粒子 未知の探求へ新たな一歩だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 8, 2012)
Higgs boson discovery marks new start in probing the unknown
ヒッグス粒子 未知の探求へ新たな一歩だ(7月7日付・読売社説)

A new subatomic particle believed to be the "Higgs boson," hunted for more than 40 years by particle physicists around world, has been discovered at long last.
 世界の物理学者たちが40年以上も探し続けてきた「ヒッグス粒子」とみられる新粒子が、ついに見つかった。

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, on the Swiss-French border near Geneva, announced the discovery on Wednesday. This can definitely be called a glorious accomplishment that will go down in history.
 スイス・ジュネーブ郊外の欧州合同原子核研究機関(CERN)が発表した。歴史に残る偉業と言えよう。

In the smallest fractions of a second after the birth of the universe, the Higgs boson was responsible for the existence of mass, commonly thought of as weight, in all matter, according to the "Standard Model" of physics. Since it is the origin of mass in the universe, the Higgs boson is also known as the "God particle."
 宇宙誕生の直後、この粒子が万物に重さ(質量)を与えた、と物理学の「標準理論」では考えられている。重さの源だけに、「神の粒子」とも呼ばれている。

How did the universe come into being? How was substance brought into existence? How did galaxies form and the stars ignite? How did life first begin to stir?
 宇宙はどのように誕生したか。物質はどんな仕組みで生成され、星や銀河ができ、生命が登場したのか。

The new discovery marks a milestone in the grand quest to understand the ultimate origins of humanity.
人類の根源を辿(たど)る壮大な旅の一つの到達点だろう。

According to the Standard Model, every substance consists of 17 kinds of ultramicroscopic particles that cannot be divided into any smaller units.
 標準理論によれば、すべての物質は、それ以上分割できない17種類の極微の素粒子で構成されている。

===

Final building block

Of such particles, electrons were first discovered in 1897, while the existence of a total of 16 particles--every subatomic particle except the Higgs boson--had been confirmed by 2000.
まず電子が1897年に見つかり、2000年までに、ヒッグス粒子を除いて、計16種類の存在が確認されていた。

The discovery of the Higgs boson means the final building block necessary to explain the development of the universe from its birth 13.7 billion years ago right up to the present moment has been identified.
 137億年前の宇宙創生から現在まで、宇宙の歩みを説明する理論を裏付ける最後の部品が、これでそろったことになる。

This achievement has been made using CERN's circular 27-kilometer underground proton accelerator. The accelerator is a gigantic facility built at a cost of 550 billion yen. It can make protons, a kind of microparticle, collide with each other in a vacuum at nearly the speed of light for a high-energy collision.
 この発見は、CERNにある全周27キロ・メートルの円形加速器で成し遂げられた。建設費5500億円の巨大施設だ。真空に保ったパイプの中に、微粒子の陽子を光速に近いスピードで飛ばし、陽子同士を衝突させることができる。

CERN researchers repeated such collisions 1.1 quadrillion times, analyzing in detail the fragments produced by the impacts. These include the new Higgs particle, which they have identified with 99.99998 percent certainty, the announcement said.
 これを1100兆回繰り返して衝撃で飛び出した破片を詳細に分析し、新粒子を99・99998%の確率で見つけたという。

From Japan, 110 researchers from universities and other research organizations, including the University of Tokyo, have taken part in the CERN program, playing significant roles in such activities as data analysis.
 東京大など16の大学・研究機関から日本人110人が参加し、分析などに活躍した。

It was a theory formulated by Yoichiro Nambu, a Japanese-born professor emeritus at the University of Chicago and a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, that provided the foundation for the prediction of the existence of the Higgs boson.
ヒッグス粒子の存在予言も、ノーベル物理学賞受賞者の南部陽一郎・米シカゴ大名誉教授の理論が基になった。

We feel proud of Japan's contribution.
 日本の貢献が誇らしい。

===

Trust in science

The pursuit of mysteries of the universe is certain to go on. Experiments with the newly found subatomic particle will lead to the detailed elucidation of its properties. It may even be possible to crack open a new realm of cosmic theory. Physicists have great expectations.
 これからも探求は続く。実験を重ねれば新粒子の詳しい性質が分かる。そこから新たな理論が生まれるかもしれない。そう物理学者たちは期待している。

This is because current theory can account for about only 4 percent of the energy that lets matter, and the universe itself, exist. We hope to see Japanese researchers aggressively striving to make further discoveries to help shape our understanding of the universe.
 今の理論ではまだ、宇宙にある物質、宇宙を支えるエネルギーの4%しか説明できないからだ。さらなる発見へ、日本の研究者も挑戦してほしい。

After the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent nuclear power plant accident last year, an increasing number of people in this country are becoming distrustful of or anxious about science and technology.
 昨年の東日本大震災と原子力発電所の事故以降、国内で科学技術に不信や不安を抱く人が増えている。

A survey by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has shown that as many as four out of every 10 people think humans "cannot take control" of outcomes of science and technology. This is double the figure from before the March 11, 2011, disaster.
文部科学省の調査では「人間は科学技術をコントロールできない」と考える人が10人中4人もいる。震災前の倍になった。

It is strongly hoped that a breakthrough such as the discovery of the Higgs boson will help resuscitate people's dreams about the future of science.
 ヒッグス粒子の究明のような取り組みが、科学への夢を取り戻すきっかけになればいい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 7, 2012)
(2012年7月7日01時23分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-07-09 07:13 | 英字新聞

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