Scientists at CERN, home of the world’s largest particle smasher, have today announced their discovery of a particle that could turn out to be the elusive Higgs boson. In physics, the Higgs boson is the last remaining piece of the puzzle according to the Standard Model – a theory as to how the universe works at the elementary level. In the 60s, Peter Higgs, along with a team of physicists, detailed a theoretical particle that’s responsible for giving all matter mass, dubbed the Higgs Boson.
Photo Credit: Maximilien Brice @ CERN
The discovery of this particle by CERN isn’t 100% confirmed, as further testing does need to be conducted, but at this point, it does seem hopeful that the Higgs boson does in fact exist. According to many physicists, the discovery of the Higgs boson would be one of the top scientific achievements of the past 50 years – even matching the feat of putting a man on the moon.
Great strides have been made over the years to discover the Higgs boson, and though it’s the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN that gets all of the attention nowadays, it certainly isn’t the first particle smasher to have been put into action. Another is found just east of Batavia, Illinois, called Tevatron. Though shut down last fall due to budget cuts, scientists there continue to mull over the 10+ years of data, and just days ago also stated with some certainty that the Higgs boson has shown up in their results.
With the LHC having come this close to discovering the Higgs boson in just the year-and-a-half that it’s been operational, it may only take months more to finalize it. Once done, one of the most important physics puzzles will be solved, allowing for further explanation of how it is our universe comes together.