CERN physicists say they have enough statistical evidence to claim discovery of a new fundamental particle – a boson that may, pending further investigation, prove to be the so-called “god” particle responsible for the elusive Higgs field that gives other particles mass.
Yesterday’s announcement (pictured) represents confirmation of the tantalizing preliminary data revealed late last year from the ATLAS and CMS detectors at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). “The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma [a very high level of certainty] signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,” said CMS spokesperson Joe Incandela. “The implications are very significant.”
But uncertainties surrounding the characteristics of the new particle haven’t stopped the researchers at CERN celebrating. “We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “The discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle’s properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe.”
More about the new boson from around the web:
- The New York Times has an excellent piece on how further examination of the new particle could reveal novel phenomena and new theories that answer the nagging questions still haunting the Standard Model.
- “Whoa whoa whoa! We’re cross-breeding hogs and bison now? Thanks a lot Obamacare!” A collection of Higgs Boson jokes from Twitter.
- Stephen Hawking loses $100 bet on existence of Higgs Boson.
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