News / Science & Technology

Physicists May Have Detected Elusive Higgs Boson Particle

View of the LHC (large hadron collider) in its tunnel at CERN (European particle physics laboratory) near Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, May 31, 2007.
View of the LHC (large hadron collider) in its tunnel at CERN (European particle physics laboratory) near Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, May 31, 2007.
Lisa Schlein

Scientists at a research laboratory outside Geneva, Switzerland say they have seen tantalizing hints of the existence of the Higgs boson subatomic particle, which they say might help explain the fundamental structure of the universe.  But researchers who on Tuesday presented results of two experiments conducted at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, say the evidence is not strong enough to claim a discovery.  

The elusive Higgs boson is often referred to as the “God Particle” because it might hold the key to understanding why objects in the universe have mass.

Physicist Pauline Gagnon says that even though the particle's nickname is a joke, the prospect of finding the Higgs boson particle is an exciting and serious matter.

“People have been looking for this particle for a long time and it has been called elusive, like you said, because it has been decades - essentially 30, 40 years - that people have been trying to find it," said Gagnon.

The data presented at CERN come from two experiments conducted at the Large Hadron Collider - the world’s largest atom smasher, which sends beams of protons hurtling toward one another at nearly the speed of light.  Scientists say the force of billions of powerful collisions at the collider is producing results never before seen.

Fabiola Gianotti is spokesperson for one of the two experiments conducted at CERN and says the data show spikes in what scientists call the mass region.  She calls this an important achievement.

“In this mass region, we see some excess of events and it is too early to tell if the excess is due to fluctuation of the background or if it is due to something more interesting," said Gianotti. "I think that only more studies and more data will allow us to answer that question.  But the nice thing is we know that by the end of 2012, or sooner, if we are lucky, we should be able to say the final word.”  

Scientists have developed what they call the Standard Model, which explains how particles and forces interact.  It describes the ordinary matter from which everything visible in the universe is made.  The Higgs boson particle is the only piece of the universe predicted by the Standard Model that has not been seen.

The particle lies at the heart of the fundamental question of why there is mass in the universe.  Finding the Higgs boson would be one of the biggest scientific advances in more than half-a-century.  It would confirm the Standard Model’s description of how subatomic particles interact to form the basic building blocks of the universe.  

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid