Confirming the God Particle

The official announcement that the Higgs Boson had been discovered was attended by all the big names in physics. The event was even broadcast around the world via a live telecast.
(Source: CERN)

The search for the Higgs Boson particle has been ongoing for the past 10 years — it is one of the longest and most expensive physics investigations to date. Its existence is so meaningful and impossible to prove that for years the Higgs Boson was nicknamed “the God particle.”

On July 4, the research centre CERN (translated to the European Organization for Nuclear Research), announced at a press conference in Geneva that they had finally found the elusive particle. It was an announcement met with tears of joy, cheers and sighs of relief.

The Higgs Boson is theorized to be a subatomic particle, like electrons, that causes other particles to have mass. Our current Standard Model for Particle Physics includes 12 subatomic particles, organized into Quarks and Leptons, and four boson particles.  The boson particles give a characteristic “force” to the other particles.

Peter Higgs, the man to theorize the Higgs Boson, explores CERN. The confirmation of the Higgs Boson prompted fellow physicist Stephen Hawking to publicly announce that Higgs deserved a Nobel Prize.
(Source: CERN)

The Higgs Boson is essentially the missing piece of the standard model ­— it is the only particle that had yet to be observed. However, for years physicists agreed that it must exist because without it there would be no way to explain for the mass of the W and Z bosons.

In 2011, data from CERN’s atom collider started to build up that was consistent with the theorized creation of a Higgs Boson. And finally, after countless experiments they announced they had found their God particle. On August 1, CERN released yet another exciting announcement — representatives said they could now confirm its existence with ultimate accuracy. The chance that they have made an error? One in 550 million.

With this discovery confirmed (you have better odds of winning the lottery than arguing against the Higgs Boson’s existence),  we are a step closer to fully understanding our world. But be warned physics students — you may have to buy updated textbooks this upcoming year.

How the Higgs boson works

The current theory states that Higgs Boson particles are present throughout the universe in a continual lattice field. Only certain subatomic particles, like the Z boson, interact with the Higgs Boson web. This interaction is what gives them mass.

— Catherine Owsik 

Online discussion

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