July 4th, 2012
04:21 AM ET

Scientists say new particle fits description of Higgs boson

Scientists said Wednesday that they had discovered a new particle whose characteristics match those of the Higgs boson, the most sought-after particle in physics, which could help unlock some of the universe's deepest secrets.

"We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature," said Rolf Heuer, the director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which has been carrying out experiments in search of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator.

"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," said Heuer.

Announcements by scientists about their analysis of data generated by trillions of particle collisions in the LHC drew avid applause at an eagerly awaited seminar in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

The Swiss presentation comes after researchers in Illinois said earlier this week scientists that they had crept closer to proving that the particle exists but had been unable to reach a definitive conclusion.

Finding the Higgs boson would help explain the origin of mass, one of the open questions in physicists' current understanding of the way the universe works.

The particle has been so difficult to pin down that the physicist Leon Lederman reportedly wanted to call his book "The Goddamn Particle." But he truncated that epithet to "The God Particle," which may have helped elevate the particle's allure in popular culture.

Experts say finding the elusive particle would rank as one of the top scientific achievements of the past 50 years.

The Higgs boson is part of a theory first proposed by physicist Peter Higgs and others in the 1960s to explain how particles obtain mass.

The theory proposes that a so-called Higgs energy field exists everywhere in the universe. As particles zoom around in this field, they interact with and attract Higgs bosons, which cluster around the particles in varying numbers.

Imagine the universe like a party. Relatively unknown guests at the party can pass quickly through the room unnoticed; more popular guests will attract groups of people (the Higgs bosons) who will then slow their movement through the room.

The speed of particles moving through the Higgs field works much in the same way. Certain particles will attract larger clusters of Higgs bosons - and the more Higgs bosons a particle attracts, the greater its mass will be.

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Filed under: Science • Switzerland • Technology
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Frank

    People of the World,
    OK Great ,they found the touch stone for the creation of the Universe.So Billions of world dollars were spent along with probably Millions of man hours expended OK fine.The next question in my mind is "How did the God Partical come into existance and not what it does"along with "How did Black Empty Space(Nothing) come into exisitance and then Matter be created"?

    July 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Name*Brenden Schurmeier

    I Don't under stand why politics is discussed above. I Don't know about the rest of you guys but The Article tells me that there's a lot of Higgs bosons around me.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Piers Morgan, Supervillain

    A couple years ago they were saying that the particle may be so "abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one."
    So did the Higgs boson just get tired of going back in time and destroying itself? OR did it decide, "well, if I can't beat 'em, I might as well join 'em?"
    Or was that time traveling hypothesis just as stupid as it sounded?

    July 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ted

    Oh boy, they found a "particle that lasts for a fraction of a second" that "acts like the higgs boson." Man, these old guys are really on to something now. Of course, because they say they think they found it (even though they can't prove it) now everyone is getting all excited. And Atheists make fun of Christians for believing in something they've never seen....Good job old guys, hope that fraction of a second was worth all those millions of dollars you spent. Now go and find out how the "Higgs Boson" was there in the first place. How many billion dollars do you need to prove that?

    July 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denwachu

      Absolutely agree with you Ted, well said!

      July 5, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. anjali

    wow its amazinggggggggggggg.

    July 7, 2012 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. hormel chili coupon

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    July 17, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. HolisticDNA

    Higgs Boson / "God Particle" announcement from 2012 – is actually a150+ year old discovery
    Steve Meyer –

    This definition of New Thought / The New Thought Movement represents an excellenet summary from Wikipedia, and I agree wtih 98% of it. The other 2% – I believe that sickness can start in the mind and/or the body; not just the mind, and that "God" is a religous manufactured term and description of what is actually Infinite Intelligence, and therefore should be removed from the definition….
    "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.[1][2]
    Although New Thought is neither monolithic nor doctrinaire, in general modern day adherents of New Thought believe that "God" or "Infinite Intelligence" is "supreme, universal, and everlasting", that divinity dwells within each person, that all people are spiritual beings, that "the highest spiritual principle [is] loving one another unconditionally … and teaching and healing one another", and that "our mental states are carried forward into manifestation and become our experience in daily living".[1][2]
    The New Thought movement is a spiritually-focused or philosophical interpretation of New Thought beliefs. Started in the early 19th century, today the movement consists of a loosely allied group of religious denominations, secular membership organizations,[citation needed] authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of beliefs concerning metaphysics, positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization, and personal power.[3] The three major religious denominations within the New Thought movement are Religious Science, Unity Church and the Church of Divine Science. There are many other smaller churches within the New Thought movement, as well as schools and umbrella organizations."

    August 13, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
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