Signs of the God particle found: CERN

Final findings either confirming or denying the existence of the Higgs boson expected by end of 2012

By Dinsa Sachan
Published: Wednesday 14 December 2011

Scientists have said they have found evidence of the elusive Higgs boson particles, believed to be the fundamental building blocks of the universe, but added that nothing conclusive can yet be said about their existence.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said that results from two of its experiments at its $10bn particle accelerator—Large Hadron Collider(LHC)—in Geneva have provided “tantalising hints” as to the evidence of the Higgs boson, also known as the God particle, but that more data and research is needed to confirm its presence.

Physicists have been waiting for the announcement with bated breath for weeks. If scientists can prove the presence of the subatomic particles, it would greatly enhance understanding of how the universe works. The Standard Model of Particle Physics explains how particles and various forces interact inside the universe, but does not provide any explanation on how particles acquire mass.

According to a theory proposed by Peters Higgs and others in1960s, a Higgs field pervades the entire universe. When particles enter this field, they attract Higgs bosons around them and gain mass.

Efforts at the LHC have been underway for the past year to find the Higgs Boson. As the particle is short-lived, it is difficult to detect it. The press statement added that ATLAS, one of the experiments, had observed Higgs Boson-like activity in the mass region ranging between 116-130 gigaelectron volts (GeV), while the CMS experiment found similar activity in the 115-127 GeV range.

"We have restricted the most likely mass region for the Higgs boson to 116-130 GeV, and over the last few weeks we have started to see an intriguing excess of events in the mass range around 125 GeV," explained ATLAS experiment spokesperson, Fabiola Gianotti, in the press statement. "This excess may be due to a fluctuation, but it could also be something more interesting. We cannot conclude anything at this stage. We need more study and more data.”

The final findings either confirming or denying the existence of the Higgs boson are expected to come towards the end of next year.


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