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The God Particle: What Does the Discovery of the Higgs Boson Mean?
Supercollider scientists at CERN, are claiming that they’ve discovered a the subatomic particle that might be responsible for the formation of everything else in the universe. They’re pretty sure, 99.999 percent sure, in fact, that they’ve found the elusive Higgs boson, named after Peter Higgs, an Edinburgh professor who announced the probability of the existence of the boson half a century ago.
Higgs attended the conference in Geneva, along with dozens of the world’s foremost scientific minds, to hear about the discovery. The scientists are stopping short of claiming that boson they found really is the Higgs boson at this time, but it’s clear that they believe it is.
What is the Higgs Boson?
In 1964, Peter Higgs came up with the idea that a was most likely responsible for the creation of all other particles in the universe. Nicknamed the God Particle, scientists have been searching for a particle that would act as a carrier particle, a “boson,” on matter, which exerts a force on other particles, creating mass. The Higgs boson must not only transmit electromagnetic force to matter – it must actually transfer mass. single subatomic particle
The Atlas Experiment
Scientists have been on a quest to find the God Particle for decades, but until recently, they didn’t have the technology and equipment to do so. In 2008, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was completed, and before it was turned on – naysayers predicted it could lead to the end of the world. Unfortunately, it suffered a major mechanical failure soon after launch, which required months of repair before it was up and running again. Ap
Those months, and the more than 100 scientists required to get the running again, paid off in spades. The multi-billion dollar collider is the catalyst behind the discovery of the Higgs boson. tly named the Atlas experiment, the boson, if it pans out, will figuratively hold the universe of matter on its shoulders. Scientists behind the discovery are naturally excited, but they are also playing their cards close to their chests. Right now, they are saying the subatomic particle is “consistent” with the Higgs boson, leaving themselves a little wiggle room. LHC
The Chief Executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, John Womersley, told reporters at a news briefing in London that, “they have discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson” and he added “It’s a momentous for science.”
If the discovery really is the Higgs boson, it will allow scientists to better understand the creation of the universe and according to professor Jim Virdee from Imperial College, it could “change the way we live.” Calling it “…a portal from the 20th century science to 21st century science,” the importance of this discovery isn’t lost on physicists.