|Picture: Paul Downey|
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Fun Fact: Today the CERN announces if the Higgs boson has been found
In a press release today, officials at the CERN institute in Geneva reported preliminary results that the Higgs boson does exist. The Higgs boson is the last particle that has not been observed in nature, but which is thought to exist based on the Standard Model of particle physics. The Higgs boson is thought to decay into different smaller particles and it is what helps to give other particles mass. Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) said a definite particle was observed at 126 gigaelectronvolts and the 5 sigma significance level for the results lends credence that the finding is a new discovery. The researchers do caution that not all of the 2012 data has been fully analyzed yet, which is expected to be completed at the end of July.
If verified, today, July 4 2012, will be considered a new milestone in our fundamental understanding of particle physics. Though a lot more work has to be done to identify the precise nature of the Higgs boson and how it affects our understanding of particle physics, today’s discovery will be remembered as a leap closer to understanding the fundamental nature of matter. For more information please see the CERN Press Release http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2012/PR17.12E.html.