5th Jul 2012

Explaining the Higgs Boson

The Standard Model of particle physics proposes a set of elementary particles needed to make up the universe, but doesn’t explain how certain particles have mass. In the 1960s, British physicist Peter Higgs proposed the critical missing piece—the Higgs boson, a particle which makes up the “Higgs field” and gives particles mass. Created when protons are smashed together in a subatomic mess, the Higgs only exists for a trillionth of a second before decaying into a spray of lighter particles, and has existed only in theory—until now. After studying the particle spray patterns of roughly a quadrillion proton collisions, CERN physicists announced today that they’ve found a particle consistent with the properties of the Higgs boson. With a high level of statistical certainty, they reported a particle weighing 125.3 gigaelectronvolts (GeV), which is 133 times heavier than a proton. By combining two data sets, they attained a confidence level at 5-sigma, which signifies 99.9999% accuracy and is the particle physics standard for official discovery. This is definitely a new boson, and the heaviest one ever found—now, we have to determined whether it behaves like the version of the Higgs proposed by the Standard Model, or whether it holds any unexpected twists. It’s hard not to get excited, because this could be one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the century—it could be a huge leap forwards for high-energy physics, helping to explain dark matter, dark energy, and subsequently 96% of the universe. Particle physics party, anyone?

CERN Press Release

(Source: public.web.cern.ch)

This post has 219 notes
  1. dragonsinthefountain reblogged this from dragonsinthefountain
  2. venusnv reblogged this from sciencesoup
  3. thedevilsturnpike reblogged this from sciencesoup
  4. smile-like-youmean-it reblogged this from sciencesoup
  5. lola-wants-lola-gets reblogged this from sciencesoup
  6. sanctuary-zero reblogged this from sciencesoup
  7. cabaline1 reblogged this from sciencesoup
  8. spademorax reblogged this from sciencesoup
  9. canyouclarinot reblogged this from sciencesoup
  10. senpiie reblogged this from nanoliquiy
  11. kureyuki reblogged this from articuno
  12. anonym0usme reblogged this from lowestentropy
  13. dancingwithaghost reblogged this from articuno
  14. articuno reblogged this from nanoliquiy
  15. neet-hime reblogged this from nanoliquiy
  16. nanoliquiy reblogged this from porygonefromhere
  17. konekozero reblogged this from sciencesoup
  18. kurisutiina reblogged this from sciencesoup
  19. mariahjkim reblogged this from sciencesoup and added:
    ]]>
  20. imaginemeandnaya reblogged this from littleblurryblue
  21. ritavolkme reblogged this from littleblurryblue
  22. littleblurryblue reblogged this from sciencesoup
  23. leonardoguerrag reblogged this from sciencesoup
  24. jfrymanr reblogged this from sciencesoup
  25. breakersgate reblogged this from sciencesoup
  26. oolongteaisgood reblogged this from sciencesoup
  27. sakuratsukikage reblogged this from silverspiral
  28. waitjustwhat reblogged this from sciencesoup