The BBC is reporting that scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Bern, Switzerland may be on the cusp of one of the truly significant achievements in the history of science; the discovery of the Higgs boson sub atomic particle:
Scientists are widely expected to present evidence on Tuesday that the most coveted prize in particle physics – the Higgs boson – has been glimpsed.
While the Higgs is crucial to our understanding of the Universe, it has never been observed by experiments.
At a seminar here in Geneva, teams will present a progress report in their hunt for the tiny particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
But the LHC has not recorded enough data to claim a formal discovery.
Finding the Higgs was a key goal for the $10bn (£6bn) particle smasher. The collider hosts two experiments – Atlas and CMS – that are searching for the particle independently.
There is intense excitement among physicists working at Cern, the Geneva-based organisation which operates the collider, over hints that the hunters have cornered their quarry.
“It is a fantastic time at the moment, you can feel people are enthusiastic,” Dr Christoph Rembser, a senior scientist on the Atlas experiment, told BBC News. “It is really very lively.”
If confirmation of the discovery can be forthcoming, it would help authenticate the “Standard Model” of physics that explains how particles and forces interact at the sub atomic level. HB has erroneously been dubbed “The God Particle” by the press which overstates its importance because it would still leave unanswered questions about Quantum theory.
Nevertheless, confirmation of its existence – or non-existence – would be another step toward understanding the fundamental forces that govern the universe.
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