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Higgs Boson Discovered: CERN conference reports Higgs evidence is overwhelming

Updated on July 4, 2012
Signals of particles produced by a proton-proton collision at LHC.
Signals of particles produced by a proton-proton collision at LHC.

Scientists meeting today at CERN, Geneva, are presenting data that confirms to a high level of certainty the existence of the Higgs boson, the particle proposed by Peter Higgs in 1964 to explain how particles have mass.

The new data from LHC (Large Hadron Collider) confirms the existence of a particle with the correct amount of energy to be the Higgs boson, to a certainty of 5 sigma. A 5 sigma signal is needed to confirm the discovery of a new particle.

Why is the Higgs boson so important?

The Higgs boson is the "missing piece of the puzzle" of particle physics. Without including it in their models, physicists cannot explain why particles have mass. This isn't the first time that scientists have caught a glimpse of the Higgs, but it is the first time that the data has confirmed the discovery to the level of certainty demanded by particle physics.

The Higgs boson interacts with other particles through an interaction known as the Higgs mechanism, suggested by Peter Higgs in 1964. The 83 year-old scientist, speaking at the conference today, had tears in his eyes as he applauded the efforts of the researchers who confirmed his theory. "I never thought this would happen in my lifetime," he said.

Hunting the Higgs is a tough job. Scientists must sift through masses of data collected by the Large Hadron Collider, which smashes protons together at speeds of more than 99.999999% of the speed of light - the fastest speed that anything in the universe can travel at. Once they have filtered out the background noise, they must perform statistical analysis to decide whether the signals they see are strong enough to confirm the existence of the Higgs.

On this occasion, it seems that they are. The director of CERN, Rolf Heuer, addressed the conference, saying "As a layman, I think we have it." The audience of physics researchers applauded loudly; the evidence for the Higgs is overwhelming.

During the rest of the conference, physicists will discuss what direction future research will take. Ultimately, the discovery of the Higgs will raise as many questions as it answered.


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      Dr.Vinn 2 years ago

      like Higg's Bodon, there will be a Plank Boson, an ultimate building block of our universe at one Planck Second (Ps). It is the seed that contains our whole Iniverse, and our universe contains about 2x10^243 Primordial Quantum Space times (PQSt). 50%\50% matter and Antimatter annihilate and about 1.2x10^184 PQSts contribute to the matter. Planck Boson can be detected. But in this process out Universe will annihilate into Oblivion. This would be the ultimate fate of our Universe.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

      thanks, itechmedicaltoday.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Interesting article and you have answered some of my questions. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this topic.

    • itechmedicaltoday profile image

      itechmedicaltoday 5 years ago from Lawrenceville, GA

      @cathylynn99 For an explanation on Higgs Boson Vs. Graviton please visit this link:

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

      isn't the higg's boson the gravitron?

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 5 years ago

      At 90% the speed of light, the "diameter" of the particle will become 50% of it's original length and will commence decreasing logarithmically such that at 99.999999% its diameter will reach near zero, right?