Speculation heats up about the possible discovery of 'the God Particle' — answers forthcoming
On July 26, 2011 At 7:57 pm
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To laypeople, it's called "the God Particle," named after the title of Leon Lederman's book, The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
The basic subatomic particle — known as "Higgs boson" — is the only particle predicted by the standard models of physics that has yet to be discovered. The Higgs boson will explain why particles have mass and can help explain the origins of the universe.
The particle is a heavy particle in terms of atomic physics and is estimated to be 120 times heavier than a proton. When searching for it this weekend at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), researchers discovered two unexplained "bleeps" in separate experiments, leading them to hope that maybe the elusive particle was finally found. The experiments were conducted in "the big bang machine" that accelerates protons up to the speed of light and smashes particles in order to find exotic particles. The "big bang machines" are approximately 17-18 miles long and are located in Geneva, Switzerland and in Illinois.
Scientists cannot yet definitively say that they have found the particle. There could be a flaw in the data or equipment which would explain the two "bleeps." The physics community will evaluate the findings, and their evaluation could take months or years. There have been false alerts before with bad data and equipment problems.
If the particle is found to exist, then it would explain how all matter, including creatures, in the universe have come to have mass.