Two teams of physicists at the Cern laboratory near Geneva have announced their latest efforts to discover the Higgs bosun, which has been described as the "God particle". Release
The scientists, who have been pursuing the particle since it was proposed in 1964 by Peter Higgs, an Edinburgh University physicist, say the discovery may be proof of an invisible energy field that fills the vacuum of space. Two general purpose particle physics experiments, ATLAS and CMS, were involved in the discovery. The experiments were designed to see a “wide range of particles and phenomena” produced in the Large Hadron Collider.
“We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV,” said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti in the official news release. “The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage, but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.”
Scientists at Rice University and Texas A&M University were involved in the experiments.
“To use an analogy from CSI: We’ve found a body, but we need to wait for the DNA results to declare it the Higgs,” said Rice particle physicist Paul Padley, a co-investigator on the LHC Compact Muon Solenoid experiment. “We’re not calling this the Higgs for the same reason the police don’t guess about the identity of a body. It’s our responsibility to be sure.” Release YouTube Video
"This is a tremendously important finding made possible by a collaborative effort of several thousand people from many dozens of institutions working together for more than 15 years to come to this exciting day,” said TAMU physicist Alexei Safonov. “It takes that many people to build the detector, commission all systems, get the data out, analyze it and produce physics-quality results. Being part of this amazing effort has been and continues to be both a privilege and a large responsibility." Release