Even with our incredible scientific and technological advancements, we still don’t understand the composition of 96% of the universe. That’s all about to change.
Years of research, hard work and setbacks have finally paid off; the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider has finally proven it’s worth. An international team of scientists and engineers in Switzerland today announced with 99.99% certainty that a new particle has been discovered, one that could be the missing piece to the standard model of particle physics. It’s the most massive particle known to science, and it’s attributes are consistent with the elusive Higgs Boson ‘God’ Particle.
If you’re unfamiliar with the events leading up to this discovery, here’s a summary of the Higgs Boson.
The web had been abuzz this week when CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, called a press conference for Wednesday and invited some of the top physics minds in the world. It seemed like the writing was on the wall for a major announcement to be made. Those feelings only amplified when a video temporarily leaked on CERN’s website the day before. In the video, CERN spokesman Joe Incandela had the following to say:
“We’ve observed a new particle … we have quite strong evidence that there’s something there,”
“It may in the end be one of the biggest discoveries, or observations, of any new phenomenon that we’ve had in our field in the last 30 or 40 years,”
“When we say we’ve observed a particle, it means we’ve just got enough data to say that it’s definitely there and it’s very unlikely to go away … we then need more data to start to ascertain its characteristics, what are its properties.”
The video was immediately removed, and CERN claimed that it was one of a variety filmed for different potential announcement outcomes. It’s been confirmed that this was just a poor excuse to keep people on edge until the actual announcement. Here’s the video below.
The Higgs Boson particle gives objects their mass and is responsible for the formation of the solar sytem, planets, and life as we know it. Here’s a NASA approved video posted to Mashable on Tuesday that further explains what it’s all about.
The institution stopped short of definitively claiming that this was the Higgs Boson, but combined research by two different teams found only a one in two million chance that their observation was incorrect. Peter Higgs, the scientist who first theorized this particle decades ago, was present at the press conference and had to wipe away a tear saying, “It’s really an incredible thing that it’s happened in my lifetime.” CERN claimed in a press release that the complete analysis of the discovery will be available at the end of July.
When construction of the Large Hadron Collider began in 1998, the tens of thousands of brilliant minds involved could only dream of this day. This breakthrough has opened the floodgates for further understanding and discovery, and should help physicists in a number of exciting fields such as those of dark matter and dark energy. It’s a truly monumental day in history.
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