Scientists at the world’s biggest atom smasher have announced the discovery of a brand-new particle—and it looks an awful lot like the long-sought Higgs boson, also known as the “God particle,” without which the universe as we know it wouldn’t exist.
“It is an incredible thing that has happened in my lifetime.”
- Peter Higgs, physicist who theorized the existence of the Higgs boson
According to CERN, the existence of this particle was confirmed in two separate experiments at the Large Hadron Collider—a massive underground particle accelerator that spans the border of France and Switzerland—and there’s less than a one-in-a-million chance that the data is a fluke.
Higgs first proposed the existence of the new particle more than half a century ago to explain a mystery: Why do most elementary particles have mass? Without mass there would be no atoms; no chemistry; no biology—and certainly none of us.
The concept of mass has long been a sticking point in the Standard Model, which describes all known elementary particles, and how they interact.
- CERN discovers Higgs-like boson (physicsworld.com)
- Higgs boson: it’s unofficial! Cern scientists discover missing particle (guardian.co.uk)
- What Finding the Higgs-Boson Means (wired.com)
- Newly Discovered Particle Appears to Be Long-Awaited Higgs Boson (wired.com)
- What is the Higgs boson & what does its discovery mean? (itv.com)
- Particle ‘Consistent’ With Higgs Boson Discovered (news.discovery.com)
- Cern discovers ‘God Particle’ (news.techeye.net)
- Cern Large Hadron Collider scientists hail God particle find (independent.co.uk)