Scientists in Cern, Switzerland, believe their 45-year hunt for the so-called ‘God particle’ has ended after the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments reportedly uncovered a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson.
The Higgs boson experiments aim to explain how matter attracts mass to itself and thereby allowing for the creation or development of the known universe.
However, according to the BBC, the discovery of the particle has been over-hyped; what scientists have actually discovered using the enormous collider is a ‘level of certainty in their data worthy of a discovery’, but more work will need to be done to make sure that it is the Higgs particle.
The CMS team claimed they had seen a ‘bump’ in their data corresponding to a particle weighing in at 125.3 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) — about 133 times heavier than the protons that lie at the heart of every atom. Scientists believe this is consistent with a Higgs particle.
Prof. Rolf Heuer, director-general of Cern, said, ‘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’.
Quoted in the BBC report, Prof. Peter Higgs, after whom the particle is named, said, ‘I would like to add my congratulations to everyone involved in this achievement. It’s really an incredible thing that it’s happened in my lifetime’.