Has the Elusive ‘Higgs’ Boson Finally been Detected……?

9 Jul

What is it and why does it matter……

The Boson, named after Professor Peter Higgs who first proposed its existence in the 1960’s, is thought to be a force carrier that imparts mass to other particles in the Standard Model of particle physics.  Without the Higgs Boson and Higgs Mechanism everything that came out of the Big Bang would have been pure energy, continued to expand at the speed of light never forming atoms and never allowing a universe composed of solid matter to form……

The History of the Hunt for the Higgs……

Before the Large Hadron Collider was completed the most powerful Particle Accelerator was the Tevatron at Fermilab in the USA.  Although the Tevatron was not powerful enough to prove the existence of the Higgs Boson, the results of 500 trillion collisions were able to narrow the possibilities of where it might be found.  The Tevatron results indicate that the Higgs particle, if it exists, has a mass between 115 and 135 GeV/c2, or about 130 times the mass of the proton.  The Tevatron ceased operating in September 2011……

 

The Preliminary Results from CERN……

 

In July 2012 data collected from the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the LHC both independently discovered an anomaly at 125 and 126 GeV.  Although the results are preliminary they do indicate the presence of a new Boson particle, the heaviest ever found.  The data from 2012 is still under analysis and may yet yield more confirmation of the new Boson.  The next step will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe. Are its properties as expected for the long-sought Higgs boson, the final missing ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics? Or is it something more exotic? The Standard Model describes the fundamental particles from which we, and every visible thing in the universe, are made, and the forces acting between them. All the matter that we can see, however, appears to be no more than about 4% of the total. A more exotic version of the Higgs particle could be a bridge to understanding the 96% of the universe that remains obscure……

We may be moving ever closer to a complete description of the beginning of the universe and its evolution.  The work at CERN continues.  We are, however, still not able to explain the apparent weakness of Gravity and reconcile it with Quantum Mechanics ……

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