Scientists in Geneva are one step closer to solving one of the biggest mysteries of modern physics with the detection of what could be tell tail sighs of the highly elusive Higgs boson.
The Higgs boson particle, nicknamed the ‘god particle’, currently only exists in theory but if discovered it would plug the gaps in scientific equations regarding how particles gain mass. Without mass electrons wouldn’t be able to combine to create atoms and without atoms there wouldn’t be, well anything.
…only elementary particle yet to be discovered…
The Higgs boson remains the only elementary particle yet to be discovered and is one of the primary areas of research for CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) and its famous/infamous Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.
The LHC is the world’s largest particle accelerator and made headlines in September 2008 when it spectacularly failed to create the planet engulfing black hole the media had promised and then broke down nine days later. A year later and the LHC was up and running again and has been happily smashing particles together ever since.
…LHC’s results are given further weight by the findings of the US based Tevatron…
Although not a concrete discovery of the Higgs particle, two separate experiments have produced blips in the energy range that scientists believe is most likely to be the hiding place of the ‘god particle.’ The LHC’s results are given further weight by the findings of the US based Tevatron, which works on similar principles to the Large Hadron Collider, has shown remarkably similar results which are now being analysed at the Europhysics conference in France.
If the LHC doesn’t discover evidence of the Higgs boson, down the back of the CERN sofa, then scientists will have to completely rework theories of how subatomic structures relate to one another.
Images courtesy of CERN