On March 14, 2013 scientists working on the ATLAS and CMS particle physics experiments at CERN (Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire, or the European Council for Nuclear Research) announced at the Moriond Conference in La Thuile, Italy, that they have discovered the “God Particle” or Higgs Boson.
The Standard Model of particle physics
Scientists believe the Higgs boson to be the long-sought-after Standard Model of particle physics, although more research is needed to determine what type of Higgs Boson it is and whether it is indeed Higgs Boson or “a more exotic particle.”
The Standard Model (SM) of particle physics is explained by four particles: proton, neutron, electron and electron neutrino; and strong nuclear forces, weak nuclear forces and electromagnetic forces. The Standard Model of particle physics explains nuclear physics, sub-nuclear physics and the cosmology of the earliest moments of the universe.
The universe is controlled by the fundamental particles and four fundamental forces. The SM of particle physics explains how these fundamental particles and three of the fundamental forces relate to each other. The four fundamental forces are the strong force, weak force, electromagnetic force and gravitational force. Therefore, the SM of particle physics uses particles and three of these fundamental forces: Gravity is excluded from the Standard Model.
Bosons are the three fundamental forces that result from the exchange of force-carrier particles. “Particles of matter transfer discrete amounts of energy by exchanging bosons with each other.”
The Higgs Boson theory was formulated in 1964 by Peter Higgs, Edinburgh professor. In July 2012, it was postulated that a new particle had been found, but more research was necessary to declare that it was truly the Higgs boson, or “God Particle.” With continued research, this new particle was declared the Higgs boson on March 14, 2013.
In response to the discovery of Higgs boson, The Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics was established at Edinburgh University. The Higgs Centre will bring researchers together who work in different areas of theoretical physics to answer questions about the universe. Also, Peter Higgs received the Edinburgh Award on March 24, 2013, for his contributions to science and technology.
In an article by National Geographic, it is stated that “The Higgs boson has a mass of about 125 gigaelectron volts (GeV) – about 125 times the mass of a proton , a positively charged particle in an atom’s nucleus.
The Large Hadron Collider
In order to prove Higgs Boson, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was put into operation in September 2008. The LHC is the largest particle accelerator in the world. The super collider is located in the CERN laboratory, which is located at the Swiss-French border close to Geneva. The collider is located in a 27 kilometer ring-shaped tunnel about 100 meters underground. The LHC consists of super-conducting magnets that create intense magnetic fields. At LHC, 8.4 Tesla is over 100,000 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field
The LHC will be shut down for approximately two years for a planned upgrade.
The “God Particle”
The “God Particle” is the nickname given to the elusive Higgs Boson because it completes the Standard Model of particle physics and scientifically explains why objects in the universe have mass and why galaxies, planets and maybe even human life exist.
Whether it is called Higgs Boson or the “God Particle,” it clearly is a new and astounding particle that has been discovered. However, researchers have a lot more work to complete regarding this discovery. They must first determine what type of Higgs Boson it is and then determine how it works. Although it answers the Standard Model of particle physics, there are now more questions to be answered.