The God Particle is No Longer a Theory: Scientists Have Found the Higgs Boson_Featured_, Science Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
HUMANITY’S understanding of the origin of the universe after the big bang has taken a historic leap forward with the discovery of a subatomic particle that scientists have been searching for and theorizing about for almost 50 years.
In jubilant scenes in Geneva and Melbourne, physicists learned that scientists working at the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland had found what they believe to be the Higgs boson or “God particle”.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, announced the “milestone in the understanding of nature”, saying it had found a new subatomic particle consistent with the Higgs boson.
“The next step will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe,” a CERN statement said.
Peter Higgs, 83, the shy and softly spoken British physicist who, along with two other groups, published the conceptual groundwork for the particle in 1964, expressed his joy yesterday. He said he was “astounded at the amazing speed with which these results have emerged”.
“They are a testament to the expertise of the researchers and elaborate technologies in place,” he said.
“I never expected this to happen in my lifetime and shall ask my family to put some champagne in the fridge.”
In Melbourne, at the High Energy Physics Conference, where, along with Geneva, the results were announced, young physicists Anna Kropivnitskaya, Konstantin Toms and Maria Toms laughed and said the new particle, or boson, was science, not science fiction.
“But it does improve our knowledge of the universe, the basis, the foundations,” Konstantin Toms said.
“It means the Standard Model of particle physics is true and complete and we have discovered the last missing piece.”
The discovery, by two separate teams, is hailed as virtual confirmation that the Standard Model of physics is correct, as the Higgs is a cornerstone of the model that describes the interactions of all known subatomic particles and forces.
Michio Kaku on the God Particle: