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”. More work will be needed to be certain that what they see is a Higgs, however.
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.
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; the hunt for the Higgs has been compared by some physicists to the Apollo programme that reached the Moon in the 1960s. 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. A more exotic version of the Higgs could be a bridge to understanding the 96% of the Universe that remains obscure.
Do you really think the CERN scientists have already found real proof of the Higgs boson? How would its discovery affect our understanding of life? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below!
Source: BBC News
Image: The Province