Physicists Find Best Evidence Yet Of ‘The God Particle’

After decades of careful experiment, physicists say they have found the “strongest indication to date” to prove the existence of the Higgs boson – a subatomic particle so important to the understanding of space, time and matter that the physicist Leon Lederman nicknamed it “the God particle.”

The announcement today, based on experiments at the Department of Energy’s Fermilab near Chicago and other institutions, is not the final word, but it’s very close. And it comes just before a major meeting this week in Australia, where more findings will be announced from the giant underground particle accelerator at CERN, the great physics lab in the Alps on the French-Swiss border.

Rob Roser, a Fermilab physicist, said he expected the CERN scientists to offer more evidence of the Higgs particle, though they will also be cautious. “The Higgs particle, if it’s real, will show itself in different ways. We need for all of them to be consistent before we can say for sure we’ve seen it.”

The particle was first proposed in the 1960s by the English physicist Peter Higgs. The international effort to find it has taken decades, using tremendous amounts of energy to crash subatomic particles into each other in giant underground tracks, where they are steered by magnetic fields. Several different experiments have been done by independent teams to ensure accuracy.

Physicists say the Higgs boson would help explain why we, and the rest of the universe, exist. It would explain why the matter created in the Big Bang has mass, and is able to coalesce. Without it, as CERN explained in a background paper, “the universe would be a very different place…. no ordinary matter as we know it, no chemistry, no biology, and no people.”

Do you think the Higgs boson really exists? What is the significance of its discovery to our world today?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Diva Whispers

Why is the ‘God Particle’ Important?

Scientists say they have found hints of the existence of the Higgs boson, a never-before-seen subatomic particle long thought to be a fundamental building block of the universe.

In a highly anticipated press conference, researchers announced that two independent experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva have turned up signs of the so-called “God particle.”

“The Higgs boson is the last missing piece of our current understanding of the most fundamental nature of the universe,” Martin Archer, a physicist at Imperial College in London, told CNN. “Only now with the LHC are we able to really tick that box off and say ‘This is how the universe works, or at least we think it does’.”

The popular nickname for the elusive particle was created for the title of a book by Nobel Prize winning physicist Leon Lederman — reportedly against his will, as Lederman has said he wanted to call it the “Goddamn Particle” because “nobody could find the thing.” For the past year scientists have searched for the Higgs boson by smashing protons together at high energy in the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, “hoping that somewhere in these collisions that you see something … some sort of a statistical bump,” says Archer.

Martin Archer believes a failure to find the Higgs boson would be even more exciting than discovering the elusive particle because “it actually means that the universe at the most fundamental level is more complicated than we thought,” says Archer, “and therefore maybe the way we’ve been attacking physics isn’t right.”



Image: National Geographic