(Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse)
Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva announced Tuesday that they have detected hints of the Higgs boson, or the “God particle,” often described as the “most sought-after particle in modern physics.”
Scientists theorize that the Higgs boson subatomic particle has provided mass and energy to all matter since the creation of the universe, thus giving it the nickname the “God particle.” It serves as the missing link in the “Standard Model" of particle physics.
Although similar results conducted separately by the ATLAS and CMS physics teams prove promising, scientists announced Tuesday that they will need at least another year to conduct research regarding the particle’s existence.
The particle is so important to the science community that researchers continue to be fueled by what those involved in the research call “tantalizing hints” of the particle’s existence.
“The window for the Higgs mass gets smaller and smaller,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer Tuesday, according to Reuters.
“But please be prudent. Remember, we have not found it yet, nor have we excluded it yet. There is still Higgs hunting to be done,” he added.
Scientists used the Large Hadron Collider, or the L.H.C., to conduct experiments on the Higgs boson. The L.H.C., which costs 200,000 Swiss Francs ($215,000) per hour to operate, smashes protons together at nearly the speed of light. The protons release energy and other particles, and it is through this release of new particles that scientists have found possible signs of the Higgs boson particle.
L.H.C. results show that the high speed collisions resulted in the production of muons, which scientists claim could serve as byproducts to the Higgs boson particle.
Researchers insist that results of the experiments could provide ample insight into certain theories about the formation of the universe.
The particle was named after physicist Peter Higgs in 1964 because of his invention of the Higgs Mechanism, which is used to determine the mass of particles.
“It is too early to draw a definite conclusion. More studies and more data are needed,” said ATLAS particle physicist Fabiola Gianotti at the CERN seminar Tuesday.
“We have built solid foundations for the exciting months to come,” she added.