'We have observed a new boson': CERN physicists claim Higgs success

'We have observed a new boson': CERN physicists claim Higgs success

Summary: Scientists at the European nuclear research facility say they have almost certainly located the particle, which would confirm our standard model of physics

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

Scientists at the CERN nuclear research facility have almost certainly found the Higgs boson, the so-called 'God particle', they have announced.

On Wednesday morning the leaders of the experiments running through the giant Large Hadron Collider (LHC) said they their two teams had independently observed a particle consistent with the Higgs, which has until now been theoretical rather than a sure thing. The Higgs boson is thought to be responsible for mass in the otherwise-already-proven standard model of physics.

"We have observed a new boson," Joe Incandela, leader of the CMS experiment said at a press conference in Geneva, explaining that the particle's mass of 126 GeV was consistent with that of the predicted Higgs boson. He noted earlier that the result he was about to reveal was "very, very preliminary", but "very strong, very solid, otherwise we wouldn't present it."

Large Hadron ColliderScientists at CERN say they have observed the Higgs boson, using the Large Hadron Collider. Image credit: CERN

"These results are now global and shared with all of mankind," Incandela, who is American, added.

The scientists say they have more than 'five-sigma' certainty that the particle they saw was the Higgs boson, which means they are 99.99999 percent sure of their conclusions.

"We all have to be proud of these results and I hope that they open a door towards a very bright future," Fabiola Gianotti, leader of the ATLAS experiment, said.

The revelation comes days after US scientists working at Fermilab said their experiments with Tevatron, a less powerful particle accelerator that was otherwise similar to the LHC, had strongly suggested that the high-mass particle did exist.

"It's hard not to get excited by these results," CERN sesearch director Sergio Bertolucci said in a statement. "We stated last year that in 2012 we would either find a new Higgs-like particle or exclude the existence of the Standard Model Higgs. With all the necessary caution, it looks to me that we are at a branching point: the observation of this new particle indicates the path for the future towards a more detailed understanding of what we're seeing in the data."

CERN said last year that it had found traces of the Higgs boson, but was not sure. The facility ramped up the power of the LHC early this year, a move they said would speed up the search for the elusive particle.

"It's the last month of running that did it," Incandela said.

The Higgs boson was predicted by Edinburgh-based particle physicist Peter Higgs in the mid-1960s. Higgs was in the audience at Wednesday morning's press conference.

Topic: Emerging Tech

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Oh dear...

    Fracture (Xbox) could become a reality......
  • Very exciting news....

    hopefully I'll see something become of it in my lifetime.
  • Hurray for Big Science

    To serve as a reminder from time to time that the human race has other skills besides making war, depleting natural resources, and trashing the environment.

    I just hope '"Five-sigma" doesn't get co-opted a marketing catch-phase tool.
  • I think there's a typo in your headline.

    Shouldn't that be "bosom"?
    • No Typo

      No, boson is correct.
  • Ahhh

    So that is how the bubbles in my beer is formed.
    Well one less variable in the equation solved.
    Some day they may finally answer the big big question.
    Is 42 actually the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything
  • I'm not sure how to take this

    Wouldn't it be more interesting NOT to discover the Higgs boson and instead have to rethink physics all over again?
    • Well Said Sir!

      "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer?"

      (paraphrased from the original Plutarch)
      • Um, ya....like you said

        Chaos theory FTW!
    • Not so fast ...

      ... we still don't know what atoms and quarks really are. All we know are the measurements that result from observation and experiment.

      So there's still work to be done.
  • Higgs Boson

    Why should we care and what influence, if any, will it have on anything other than a "Wow, that's neato!"?
    • Wow!

      Short sighted much?!?
    • Re: Why should we care

      We never know what things we discover will turn out to be useful later. All those mathematicians studying number theory and factorization of large (nowadays multi-hundred-digit) integers down through the centuries never thought their work would have any practical application--they investigated out of pure curiosity. Yet today that work is a vital foundation for the encryption algorithms that keep your information safe on the Internet.
  • Small Error

    5 Sigma is roughly one in 3.5 million of being a fluke, which is 99.99997% sure (not 99.99999%, which is about 3 times as sure)
  • bQuit calling it the "God" Particle

    It's the "GODDAMN" Particle-- Becuase it's so goddamned hard to find.. The publisher shortned the name of the original book title.. sheesh
  • Higgs Boson is a new name for an old discovery

    Higgs Boson / "God Particle" -2012 Science news is actually a 150+ year old discovery by a different name ……............Infinite Intelligence….Steve Meyer / New Thought Movement / HolisticDNA

    The Sixth Sense Activation Sequence – GROUNDBREAKING New Book in 2012!

    "New Thought promotes the ideas that "Infinite Intelligence" or "God" is ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and "right thinking" has a healing effect..." Wikipedia

    Steve Meyer
    Higgs Boson