New particle discovery could be Higgs Boson

| 04/07/2012

higgs-boson-elusive-particle-energy-range_45598_600x450 (300x276).jpg(BBC): Cern scientists reporting from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)have claimed the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson. The particle has been the subject of a 45-year hunt to explain how matter attains its mass. Both of the Higgs boson-hunting experiments at the LHC see a level of certainty in their data worthy of a "discovery". Prof Joe Incandela, spokesman for the CMS, was unequivocal: "The results are preliminary but the five-sigma signal at around 125 GeV we're seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle." he told the Geneva meeting.

The results announced at Cern (European Organization for Nuclear Research), home of the LHC in Geneva, were met with loud applause and cheering. Prof Peter Higgs, after whom the particle is named, wiped a tear from his eye as the teams finished their presentations in the Cern auditorium. "It's really an incredible thing that it's happened in my lifetime,” he said.

Prof Rolf Heuer, director-general of Cern, commented: "As a layman I would now say I think we have it. We have a discovery – we have observed a new particle consistent with a Higgs boson. But which one? That remains open. It is a historic milestone but it is only the beginning."

A confirmation that this is the Higgs boson would be one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the century. Scientists would then have to assess whether the particle they see behaves like the version of the Higgs particle predicted by the Standard Model, the current best theory to explain how the Universe works. However, it might also be something more exotic. All the matter we can see appears to comprise just 4% of the Universe, the rest being made up by mysterious dark matter and dark energy.

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Category: Science and Nature

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