Biggest discovery of our times – Higgs boson, the God particle discovered ?
Today’s (July 4 2012) press release by CERN, has strongly indicated the discovery of Higgs boson or the “god particle”. Preliminary results of the ALTAS and CMS experiments at CERN has strongly suggests the discovery of a new particle. Both experiments observed a new particle in the mass region around 125-126 GeV. It is yet to be confirmed whether this new particle is indeed Higgs boson.
CERN’s public website has the title “Higgs within reach - our understanding of the universe is about to change”. This alone shows how crucial this discovery is to the scientific community.
Excerpts from the Press Release
“We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage,” said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti, “but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.”
“The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,” said CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela.
It may take a while to get the complete picture of the experimental results. May be we have to wait till the end of this year, to be absolutely certain on the existence of Higgs boson. But the preliminary results are very encouraging and I feel it is just a matter of time before announcing its existence with absolute certainty.
Are we close to discovering the Higgs Boson? – Video from CERN
What is ”Higgs Boson”
Higgs boson or the “god particle” is predicted by the famous standard model theory in particle physics. The standard model known as the ”theory of almost everything” deals with the fundamental interactions of electromagnetic, weak and strong nuclear forces. This theory became widely accepted after the discoveries of bottom quark , top quark and tau neutrino. But still it was not regarded as a complete theory due to its short comings in explaining the science of dark energy and the complete theory of gravitation as explained by the general relativity theory put forward by the great Albert Einstein.
Standard model predicts the existence of Higgs boson or the “god particle” that can explain why elementary particles (quarks, electrons,..) has mass.It is the only fundamental particle predicted by the Standard Model that has yet to be observed. All other particles predicted by the standard model has been backed by experiment evidence.
The Higgs boson theory was proposed by the physicist Peter Higgs to extend the standard model to provide an explanation of mass. Higgs field and Higgs boson, can explain very well how particles clumped together to form objects having mass. It explains what gives mass to the matter. Without the Higgs particle, the universe would have remained like a big soup.
Higgs theory predicts the existence of a Higgs field covering the entire universe and this field is made up of little quanta of bosons known as Higgs Boson.
Higgs filed is like an electromagnetic field enveloping the entire universe. Particles gain mass upon interactions with this field. Particles that doesn’t interact with the Higgs fields are mass less. It is believed that the universe gets its mass due to interactions with the Higgs field. Hence the existence of Higgs boson will explain why the universe is like this.
Significance of Higgs boson
Now we can say with 99.99 % accuracy that higgs boson exists. But we need to be absolutely sure and may need to wait till the end of this year to be 100% sure. The discovery will open new areas of research in particle physics and give more authenticity to the standard model theory. It will answer one of the fundamental questions in science – “why are some particles having zero mass and why some has mass”. The discovery of Higgs boson or the famous “god particle” may be one of the biggest discoveries of a life time.
God particle ?
It is also interesting to know that the term “god particle” was introduced by the media. In fact it was introduced by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon M. Lederman and science writer Dick Teresi for their book – ”The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What is the Question”. The term “god particle” is just a hype.
References: Higgs boson : Press release from CERN