CERN scientists, presenting some of the findings from work on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) today, have confirmed that they have discovered a new subatomic particle that behaves in a similar manner to what is expected from the Higgs boson or “God particle”.
CERN director-general Rolf-Dieter Heuer said today, “As a layman, I would now say, I think we have it. It’s a historic milestone today. I think we can all be proud, all be happy.”
Two separate LHC experiments, ATLAS and CMS, have been on the lookout for the Higgs particles and both have reported, as Wired puts it, “…a boson that has Higgs-like properties at a mass of 125 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) with a 5-sigma significance, meaning they are 99.999 percent confident of its existence.”
Physicist Joe Incandela, who presented some of the findings today, said “This boson is a very profound thing that we have found. This is not like other ordinary particles. We are reaching into the fabric of the universe like we’ve never done before. It’s a key to the structure of the universe.”
CERN is downplaying the significance of the announcements today but commentators are saying that today’s announcement will likely go down in history as the day the world knew that the Higgs boson was discovered. The Higgs boson is the last piece of the Standard Model of physics, which explains the interactions between all known subatomic particles.