Did Higgs yield the most authors in a science study?

A view inside the ATLAS detector, part of the Large Hadron Collider.

ATLAS Experiment)

Scientists who announced two months ago observations of the elusive Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle,” have had their research published in the peer-reviewed Physics Letters B, along with an astounding list of thousands of authors.

More than 5,000 researchers around the world are said to have contributed to the landmark studies by the CMS and ATLAS teams working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). They said on July 4 the new boson they had observed was consistent with the Higgs, believed to be responsible for imparting all elementary particles in the universe with mass.

Two articles by the teams are each about 30 pages long. The combined author list takes up 19 pages of single-spaced text and appears to have roughly 6,000 names. Wouldn’t that be fun to cite as a footnote in full?

An oft-cited mega-paper is “Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome,” the landmark genetics study in the journal Nature, with some 2,900 authors in the full list. How they eve… [Read more]

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