Has The God Particle Been Found? Exciting Announcement To Come On Wednesday
Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider are set to announce on Wednesday that they have enough evidence to show that the Higgs Boson, dubbed the 'God Particle,' exists. The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN for its original French name, has been searching for the Higgs boson using the Large Hadron Collider since November 2009.
While the announcement is exciting, researchers are quick to say that they have not discovered the particle itself. Instead, they've seen a "footprint" of the particle, which proves it exist without the scientists actually catching a glimpse of it.
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Rob Roser, who leads the search for the Higgs boson at the Fermilab in Chicago, likened the discovery to finding a fossilized imprint of a dinosaur.
"You see the footprints and the shadow of the object, but you don't actually see it," he told the Associated Press.
John Ellis, a professor at King's College London who has worked at CERN since the 1970s, told the Associated Press that the announcement will confirm the existence of the Higgs Boson.
"I agree that any reasonable outside observer would say, 'It looks like a discovery,'" he said. ""We've discovered something which is consistent with being a Higgs."
On Dec. 12, researchers from CERN announced that they sighted spikes in data that could represent a Higgs boson, though they cautioned that it also could have been an error. "The excess may be due to a fluctuation, but it could also be something more interesting. We cannot exclude anything at this stage," Fabiola Gianotti, spokesperson for the experiment, told the BBC.
The Higgs boson was first theorized in 1964, and is thought to be the reason particles such as quarks and electrons have mass. Discovery of the Higgs boson would confirm the Standard Model of particle physics, which describes how particles and forces interact and how the universe was formed.
The Large Hadron Collider works by firing two beams of energy around a 27 kilometer (16.7 mile) pipe. The energy beams slam into each other, creating particle collisions that recreate what scientists believe occurred a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. The Large Hadron Collider could theoretically create the Higgs boson, which would exist for a septillionth of a second, but scientists believe they can observe it by examining how it decays.
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