Contratulations CERN...It's a Higgs Boson!

July 5, 2012

Eva Gusnowski

On July 4, 2012, CERN announced that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has given birth to a beautiful baby: the Higgs boson particle; birth weight only 125-126 GeV (gigaelectronvolts).

As Rheanna has talked about before here on Science in Seconds, in late 2011 CERN announced that it was very close to finding the Higgs Boson particle, the missing piece of the puzzle that is the Standard Model of physics. The presence of the Higgs boson particle has (until now) been theorized, but the experiments conducted at the LHC have demonstrated not once, but twice that they have found a particle consistent with the Higgs boson. Surprise LHC, it's twins! The scientists at CERN are currently validating the particle further to help quell any doubt that they have, in fact, isolated the Higgs boson and not another new particle.


Now, why do we care? I’m not going to pretend that I fully understand the physics behind the Higgs boson (remember, physics = the death of me), but my basic take on it is that the Higgs boson particle is what enables other particles to have mass. No mass = no universe, so I can see why the discovery of the Higgs boson is tremendously important. Not only that, but if we can understand why and how things have mass, that can only lead to a better understanding of how things work and what we (and everything) is made of. Now that, you have to admit, is pretty darn exciting.

All in all a great day for science. Plus it’s not everyday that a group of physicists get cheers and a standing ovation. 

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