Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

Earth

Clues to 'God particle' discovered

©

Video by Josh Vardey

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-13

Scientists working at the CERN Physics Centre in Switzerland said Tuesday that they are closing in on identifying an elementary particle, called the Higgs boson, which could help explain the mysteries of the universe's structure.

REUTERS - International scientists said on Tuesday they had found signs of the Higgs boson, an elementary particle believed to have played a vital role in the creation of the universe after the Big Bang.

Scientists at the CERN physics research centre near Geneva said, however, they had found no conclusive proof of the existence of the particle which, according to prevailing theories of physics, gives everything in the universe its mass.

“If the Higgs observation is confirmed...this really will be one of the discoveries of the century,” said Themis Bowcock, a professor of particle physics at Britain’s Liverpool University. “Physicists will have uncovered a keystone in the makeup of the Universe...whose influence we see and feel every day of our lives.”

The leaders of two experiments, ALTAS and CMS, revealed their findings to a packed seminar at CERN, where they have tried to find traces of the elusive boson by smashing particles together in the Large Hadron Collider at high speed.

“Both experiments have the signals pointing in essentially the same direction,” said Oliver Buchmueller, senior physicist on CMS. “It seems that both Atlas and us have found the signals are at the same mass level. That is obviously very important.”

Fabiola Gianotti, the scientist in charge of the ATLAS experiment, said ALTAS had narrowed the search to a signal centred at around 126 GeV (Giga electron volts), which would be compatible with the expected strength of a Standard Model Higgs.

“I think it would be extremely kind of the Higgs boson to be here,” she told a seminar to discuss the findings. “But it is too early” for final conclusions, she said. “More studies and more data are needed. The next few months will be very exciting...I don’t know what the conclusions will be.”

Homing In

Under what is known as the Standard Model of Physics, the boson, named after British physicist Peter Higgs, is posited to have been the agent that gave mass and energy to matter after the Big Bang creation of the universe 13.7 billion years ago.

While its discovery would cement current knowledge about particles such as electrons and photons, results of work at CERN could also prove it does not exist. Such an outcome would undermine the foundations of accepted theories of the make-up of the universe.

“If the first inklings of the Higgs boson are confirmed, then this is just the start of the adventure to unlock the secrets of the fundamental constituents of the Universe,” said Stephen Haywood, Head of the Atlas Group at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

The ATLAS results were followed by explanation of the second experiment, CMS.

“We are homing in on the Higgs” said Claire Shepherd-Themistocleus, Head of the CMS Group at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

“We have had hints today of what its mass might be and the excitement of scientists is palpable. Whether this is ultimately confirmed or we finally rule out a low mass Higgs boson, we are on the verge of a major change in our understanding of the fundamental nature of matter.”

Twitter feeds were choked by the volume of tweets mentioning CERN or Higgs and the webcast from CERN http://webcast.web.cern.ch/webcast/ struggling to cope with demand from Higgs-hunters.
“It can still happen that it is a fluctuation, but all we see from both experiments is compatible with what we would expect for a Higgs signal to build up,” said Buchmueller.

“But we really need the data from next year to be sure of what we’re seeing.”

Date created : 2011-12-13

  • SCIENCE

    CERN centre begins colliding particles for mini 'Big Bang'

    Read more

  • ENERGY

    CERN's atom smasher sets record energy level

    Read more

  • SCIENCE

    Speedy neutrino has scientists questioning Einstein

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)