Could The Higgs Boson Particle Have Been Found?
There has been a new discovery in the science world this week. Proposed in 1964 by six physicists was the possibility of the Higgs mechanism, which would help explain how particles gain their mass. This has been a blank in the science world until now, BBC News reports.
Why is the Higgs mechanism so important? It states that there is a field that permeates the Universe, also known as a Higgs field, which allows particles to obtain their mass. Interactions with the field are said to give particles mass.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a particle accelerator which searches for the particle over a range of masses where the Higgs could possibly be. It smashes together two beams of the sub-atomic particles, also known as protons, at a speed that is close to light-speed. A large amount of particles that are only created at high energy levels are generated.
Scientists still have to find the particles mass, but those findings could be just around the corner. Next, they will investigate whether the particle reacts as predicted in theory.
According to CERN, a positive identification of the particle will take a lot of time and data. Even with this discovery, the knowledge of the structure of matter will be a huge advancement:
“We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage,” said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti, “but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.”
“The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma 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,” stated CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela. “The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks.”
“It’s hard not to get excited by these results,” said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci. “ 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.”