Claimed to be root particle; Higgs boson: the elusive ‘God Particle’ explained,; humanrescueintermedia

Higgs boson: the elusive ‘God Particle’ explained

More than 50 years ago Peter Higgs and five other theoretical physicists proposed that an invisible field lying across the Universe gives particles their mass, allowing them to clump together to form stars and planets.


Nick Collins

By Nick Collins, Science Correspondent

6:58AM BST 04 Jul 2012

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According to Prof Higgs’s 1964 theory, the field interacts with the tiny particles that make up atoms, and weighs them down so that they do not simply whizz around space at the speed of light.

But in the half-century following the theory, produced independently by the six scientists within a few months of each other, nobody has been able to prove that the Higgs Field really exists.

That’s where the so-called "God Particle" comes in. Prof Higgs predicted that the field would have a signature particle, a massive boson. Finding it would point towards the existence of the field.

Finding the Higgs Boson would provide a key missing piece of evidence for the Standard Model of physics – a theory about what the Universe is made of and how forces within it work.

To find the particle and characterise it, scientists must first try to create it by smashing beams of protons together inside the Large Hadron Collider at close to the speed of light and analysing the debris.

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By doing so they will essentially be recreating a very small model of the state of the Universe as it was in the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.

Some of the fragments released by the collision should in theory be Higgs Bosons, although they will instantly deteriorate into even smaller, more stable subatomic particles.

The presence of a Higgs Boson can be inferred from pairings of these smaller particles, appearing in scientists’ data as a "bump", or a sudden and abrupt peak, with the positioning of the bump indicating what its mass is.

If the particle is picked up in the data, the scientists would have to prove that there is less than a one in a million chance of it being a statistical fluke before claiming a formal discovery.

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