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What is the Higgs Boson?

Updated on September 15, 2014

"Assuming the Higgs boson exists, everything that has mass gets it by interacting with the all-powerful Higgs field, which occupies the entire universe. Like the other fields covered by the standard model, the Higgs one would need a carrier particle to affect other particles, and that particle is known as the Higgs boson."


In particle physics, bosons are sub-atomic particles.

The Higgs Boson is named after the British scientist Peter Higgs, who put forward a theory. This was, that there could be an invisible field (now called the Higgs field) which would exist throughout the entire universe. This field could be the way that matter obtained mass after the universe was created in the "Big Bang".

Some bosons had already been discovered, but the Higgs Boson, nicknamed the "God particle", was a particle which was believed to exist, but no proof of it had yet been found. Therefore, it was called a "theoretical" particle. It was not believed to be made up of smaller particles, so it was also known an an "elementary" particle or "fundamental" particle

Higgs Boson finding confirmed

On Tuesday 13th December 2011, an announcement was made at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) where a researcher said that said there was an “excess of events” detected in particle-collider experiments that hints at where the Higgs could be found.

On March 14th 2013, livescience carried the following announcement;

"A newfound particle discovered at the world's largest atom smasher last year is, indeed, a Higgs boson, the particle thought to explain how other particles get their mass, scientists reported today (March 14) at the annual Rencontres de Moriond conference in Italy."

Courtesy of
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The large hadron collider tunnel has a circumference of 17 miles (27 kilometres). It is below the ground on the border between France and Switzerland, near Geneva. It was there that experiments took place, which eventually led to the announcement being made.

The Goddamned Particle!

There is a story that it is nicknamed the God particle so as not to offend people. It was originally referred to as "The Goddamned Particle" because of scientists frustration of their faliure to find it!


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      Mark 1 6 years ago from UK

      Thanks Kimberley - it made me laugh too when I first heard the story.

      Glad you enjoyed the article, and thanks for the comment.

    • KimberleyLB profile image

      KimberleyLB 6 years ago from New Britain, Connecticut

      Thanks so much for the chuckle about scientists frustration in trying to find the "God particle"! I needed that laugh today.

      Awesome article btw! I'm very intrigued about the "God particle" and found your article informative.