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CERN scientists: Yep, we're fairly sure we've found the Higgs boson

“The preliminary results… are magnificent,” one CERN physicist said.

Image from an ATLAS experiment carried out at CERN
Image from an ATLAS experiment carried out at CERN
Image: CERN

SCIENTISTS AT CERN say they are almost certain that they have confirmed the existence of the Higgs Boson particle.

Results from new tests show the particle discovered last year “is looking more and more like a Higgs boson,” researchers said at a press conference in Geneva today.

The elusive boson – nicknamed the ‘God particle’ –  is believed to be responsible for giving mass to elementary particles and has long been seen as the key to tying up many loose ends in the standard model of physics.

“The preliminary results [on the new particle] with the full 2012 data set are magnificent,” said spokesperson for the CMS experiment at CERN Joe Incandela.

To me, it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is.

It will take some time for physicists to determine whether it is the Higgs boson of the standard model of particle physics, or whether it is the lightest of several bosons which have been predicted in other physics theories which go beyond the standard model.

Physicists have had to look at how the new particle interacts with other particles, as well as its quantum properties, in order to determine whether it is in fact a Higgs boson.

The researchers have analysed two and a half times more data than was available for the discovery announcement last July.

They found that the new particle has no spin and its parity – which measures how its mirror image behaves – is positive, both of which are consistent with the Higgs boson.

“The beautiful new results represent a huge effort by many dedicated people,” said spokesperson Dave Charlton of the ATLAS experiment at CERN.

“They point to the new particle having the spin-parity of a Higgs boson as in the Standard Model. We are now well started on the measurement programme in the Higgs sector”.

For anyone wondering what the whole thing is all about, here’s our favourite informative video about CERN:


(Video: alpinekat/YouTube)

Video: Why Stephen Hawking was (slightly) unhappy about the Higgs boson >

Explainer: So what’s this Higgs boson thing all about? >

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