A newfound particle discovered at the world’s largest atom smasher last year is, indeed, a Higgs boson, the particle thought to explain how other particles get their mass, scientists reported today (March 14) at the annual Rencontres de Moriond conference in Italy.
Physicists announced on July 4, 2012, that, with more than 99 percent certainty, they had found a new elementary particle weighing about 126 times the mass of the proton that was likely the long-sought Higgs boson. The Higgs is sometimes referred to as the “God particle,” to thechagrin of many scientists, who prefer its official name.
But the two experiments, CMS and ATLAS, hadn’t collected enoughdata to say the particle was, for sure, the Higgs boson, the last undiscovered piece of the puzzle predicted by the Standard Model, the reigning theory of particle physics.
Physicist Brian Greene explains the Higgs Particle, also known as the “God Particle,” and why you should care. The feat of finding such a particle, he says, is akin to “trying to hear a tiny, delicate whisper over the massive thundering din of a NASCAR race.”