Physicists working at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider said Wednesday that they had discovered a new subatomic particle that looks for all the world like the Higgs Boson, called the “God particle” seen as key to understanding how the universe is built,Jerusalem Post reports
Physicists said Thursday the potential discovery of the “God particle” is a gateway to a new era that could see humanity unlock some of the universe’s great mysteries including dark matter.
The particle was suggested in 1964 by six physicists – including University of Edinburgh physicist Peter Higgs, the particle’s namesake – as a way to explain mass.
The discovery was hailed as a huge moment for science by physicists gathered in Australia, where CERN’s findings were unveiled via video link from Geneva at a landmark conference attended by hundreds of the field’s top experts.
At a morning press conference in Geneva, CERN Director-General Rolf-Dieter Heuer said, to the cheers of scientists and reporters, “We have a discovery. We should state it. We have a discovery! We have observed a new particle consistent with a Higgs boson.”
The particle explains how particles clumped together to form stars, planets and even life. According to the theory, without the Higgs particle, the particles that make up the universe would have remained a primordial soup.
In particle physics, bosons are one of the two fundamental classes of subatomic particles, the other being fermions.
The Higgs boson is the final building block that has been missing from the “Standard Model,” which describes the structure of matter in the universe.
The model is for physicists what the theory of evolution is for biologists.What scientists don’t yet know from the latest findings is whether the particle they have discovered is the Higgs boson as described by the Standard Model, a variant of the Higgs or an entirely new subatomic particle that could force a rethink on the fundamental structure of matter.