Hello, Higgs Boson: LHC's New Particle Looks Like the Real Thing

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - 10:30 in Physics & Chemistry

"We have discovered a new particle," CERN director general Rolf Heuer said Wednesday morning. "A boson. Most probably a Higgs boson." Even the most anticipated news in science does not come without some caveats. Still, all signs point to a discovery today, arguably one of the most important findings in modern physics. The inscrutable Higgs boson, carrier of mass and final puzzle piece of physics' prevailing theory, may have finally been found. Now comes the fun part - depending on what it looks like, this saga may be just beginning. [UPDATING] Two experiments at Europe's Large Hadron Collider, built to study the fundamental particles and forces underlying physical reality, separately found evidence for the new particle. Both the ATLAS and CMS experiments reported a 5-sigma statistical confidence level - essentially a 100 percent certainty that a new particle exists. We first saw tantalizing signs of this last fall, but since...

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