Scientists working at Cern have found the Higgs boson, the so-called God particle that gives the universe its size and shape, according to an official announcement.The search of the elusive particle has been one of the main experiments conducted at the £2.6 billion Large Hadron Collider that straddles the French-Swiss border near Geneva. The quest appears to have finally paid off.
“We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV,” said ATLAS experiment scientist Fabiola Gianotti.
“The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage, but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.”
While the scientists did not say they have found conclusive proof of the Higgs boson, the amount of evidence was overwhelming.”The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we are seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,” said CMS experiment scientist Joe Incandela.
“The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks.”
If the Higgs boson had not been found, it would have meant that scientist would have had to tear up the Standard Model, which is used by scientist to explain how the universe works. The Standard model is a theory that explains all the particles, forces and interactions that the universe is built upon. Without the Higgs boson, a Standard Model universe would not exist and you would not be reading this article.
“In simple language, CMS have discovered a new boson, and it behaves like the Standard Model Higgs,” tweeted TV scientist Professor Brian Cox.
The next step for Cern is to will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe. The discovery could give clues are to why visible matter only accounts for four per cent of the universe.
“A more exotic version of the Higgs particle could be a bridge to understanding the 96 per cent of the universe that remains obscure,” said Cern scientists.