DHAKA: To cheers and standing ovations from scientists, the world’s biggest atom smasher claimed the discovery of a new subatomic particle, calling it ‘consistent’ with the long-sought Higgs boson - popularly known as the ‘God particle’ - that helps explain what gives all matter in the universe size and shape.
‘We have now found the missing cornerstone of particle physics’, Rolf Heuer, director of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), told scientists, reports Gulf News.
He said the newly discovered subatomic particle is a boson, but he stopped just shy of claiming outright that it is the Higgs boson itself - an extremely fine distinction.
‘As a layman, I think we did it’, he told the elated crowd.
‘We have a discovery. We have observed a new particle that is consistent with a Higgs boson.’
The Higgs boson, which until now has been a theoretical particle, is seen as the key to our understanding of why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight.
The idea is much like gravity and Isaac Newton’s discovery of it: Gravity was there all the time before Newton explained it.
But now scientists know what a boson is and can put that knowledge to further use.
CERN’s atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border, has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to investigate dark matter, antimatter and the creation of the universe, which many theorize occurred in a massive explosion known as the Big Bang.
BDST: 1553 HRS, JUL 5, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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