Science Is Awesome: CERN Shows The Higgs Boson Is Real

Well, that went even better than we had dared hope. CERN has confirmed that its experiments so far have demonstrated the existence of the Higgs boson, which in turn suggests that the fundamental model of physics is accurate. Suck on that, science deniers!

Australian scientists joined a global chorus of welcome for the news. Here's Professor Anthony Thomas from the University of Adelaide:

Today's announcement that the Higgs boson has been discovered at CERN represents the most important and profound discovery in particle physics in almost 30 years. The Higgs represents the key missing piece of the jig-saw puzzle that is the famous Standard Model of nuclear and particle physics. It has been anticipated for more than four decades and were it not there theorists all over the world would have been back to their drawing boards in desperation. Now that it has been found, there is not only a palpable sense of relief but a great deal of excitement as we begin to pore over the details of the various experimental results to see what hints they may have for completely new physics which goes beyond the Standard Model.

His colleague Dr Paul Jackson can tell us more:

The Higgs boson gives each type of particle its own mass. Its existence is required to explain several features of our current model of particle physics, and evidence for the Higgs will further validate this model. Hints from data at the Large Hadron Collider collected in 2011 pointed to a region in mass at about 125 GeV (equivalent to about 125 proton masses) where some anomalous activity may be occurring. The data collected in 2012 so far have been analysed and are demonstrating excesses consistent with a signal which at first glance looks consistent with the expectation of a Standard Model Higgs Boson. If confirmed to be the Standard Model Higgs this will provide a crucial piece in our understanding of how particles in the Universe are assigned masses. Its measurement could have far reaching effects on research in fundamental particle physics.

As that comment confirms, there's much more to learn. But in an era where acting like science is irrelevant or a con is a common media trick (think carbon change! think NBN!), the fact that the world is excited by this development is so pleasing it's hard to describe.

Not up on why the Higgs-Boson is important? We've got that covered.

<emThis story is developing rapidly with more to come. Thanks to Australian Science Media Centre for collecting the quotes!


Comments

    Where is your god now?

      Ha ha!
      But seriously, this is very cool news!
      Now make me a hover board science dudes!

        http://www.ted.com/talks/boaz_almog_levitates_a_superconductor.html

        Wait a decade or two and you're there.

      They found him, he's a particle.

        Particle Man?

          Doin' the things that a particle can?

            what's he like?

      He's the particle

    ...What?

      Explained here:

      http://vimeo.com/41038445

    I am a non believer Salvatore but this finding does not rule out the existence of God, it just confirms that the world could have come into being WITHOUT a god.

      Are you the troll god?

      It doesn't need to, common sense pretty much completely rules out God in the first place.

        For the first time MotorMouth, you and I are in complete agreement. Religion is for weak minds.

          Man you atheists sure have found the best way to be offensive on the internet without being noticed.

          This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

        LOL >> Funniest comment I've read all year (and probably will for the rest of the year). No one can prove the existence of God and no one can deny the existence of God without proof first. Finding a particle they label the "God particle" doesn't prove or deny the existence of God.

        Let me know when you find your common sense, and more so, intelligence of reasoning.

          the burden of proof lies upon religion. There is none. Science however is discovering fantastic new things about the origins of life every day. Besides, it's religion that is the problem, not a belief in "God". Believe in god, just don't knock on my door and tell me to. Happens all the time, by kids in 3 piece suits

            Pretty much. It's the backwards teachings of religions about what they think explains God and existence and how it all works....without any facts. If anyone is EVERY going to be able to prove there is a god (and /or higher, powerful being[s]), it will be a scientist...unless they make proper contact first :P

            But seriously Science and God can go hand in hand, like, where did all the matter for the big bang come into play? Why is there existence at all since non-existence would be easier/make more sense. Somethings out there that we can't explain...yet.
            But Religion and Science can't get along, mainly because religion is based of some text dating back a thousand or more years and those controlling it won't let it be updated.

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

      How does this prove how the universe/world was created?

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    Really enjoyed the video link, did try to follow it but it's like trying to catch water with a sieve for me - most of it's leaked out, and a little bit remains.

    Serious question - ok, great. This particle's been discovered. In the nicest possible way - so what? What do we do with this? I'm not trying to put it down, I just want to understand what happens next?

      All the scientist go out and party. That's what happens next.

      What happens next, well, we ascertain the characteristics of the boson.

      After that is done, we validate which of the flavors of the Standard Model is correct.

      After which, having successfully explained particle physics, we send the results to the engineers and they figure out cool shit to use our newfound knowledge on. In the meantime, we start developing further theories that expand on our knowledge (unification theories finally in our grasp - to see how it all started; string theory - to fundamentally "get" the origin of the universe; and quite a lot more).

      I know, I know, you're thinking, "well how will this benefit me?". Well, in the 19th century, James Clerk Maxwell discovered how to produce electricity and the various laws that governed it, and he needed money to make further research happen. Politicians asked him what possible use it could have to them.

      Now look around you. Imagine an alternative future where he wasn't given the money, and in fact we never got to trying out new stuff, just because "what use it is to us RIGHT NOW".

      Higgs boson won't be used in your next smartphone, it won't replace transistors within ten years, but I think it's a good bet that in 25 years, all engineers will be required to know particle physics, simply because every new piece of technology will run based on them by then.

      This is a great step for science, and a great step for mankind. Think of it as of investing in the future - not just yours, but your children too.

      By the by, Maxwell's answer, for glorious posterity, was "One day, sir, you may tax it".

        Phew, sorry, I've got my grandest physicists mixed up. I meant to say Faraday.

        Whoops.

      The discovery of the Higgs boson is really only important because it further confirms the pre-existing theory of how/why particles have mass.

    Next step: Star Trekesque Replicators!

      OR....Stargate replicators!

        Nah, Blade Runner replicants!

    Well the next step is actually more experiment.
    If you read the press release (http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2012/PR17.12E.html), you'll see that the results are still preliminary and despite finding a heavy boson where they expected the Higgs Boson to be, they still don't know what the properties of the detected particle are.
    Who knows, maybe they've found something even more awesome.

    I'm as happy as any wannabe nerd about this but can we stop calling it the "God" particle! I know why the phrase was coined, but it's starting to get a bit annoying in the press.

      As an atheist I agree with that. But surely you have to agree that if they are calling it the 'God' particle, this represents that it is more responsible for whats going on in the universe than an actual god. Oh and the fact that it has been proven. A 'god' on the other hand, welllll.........

        My problem is with people seeing these quick titbits of information and not really listening. All they here is "God particle" and all they take away from it is "God". The last thing we need is for that quick misnomer becoming a clarion call for the uneducated. People who aren't interested in the science but are religious in particular.

          Agreed! Definitely should NOT be called that. You're absolutely right. It's misleading, and people take away the wrong information from it.

      Posted on Great post. I wanna go! Waaaaugh! and some of us may not
      remember the Mary Pat Gleason Incident, but I gnaeautre you, Mary
      Pat Gleason does.

    The existance of the Higgs Boson does not and I really can't stress that DOES NOT deny the existance of a higher being nor does it confirm. As stated it helps complete the puzzle for a grand unified theory and from my understanding the grand unified theory really explains the universe as it is and how it was formed, not what formed it.

    As for a comment about, the burden of proof is on religion to prove the existance of "god", I very much disagree. As a scientist and as a Christian the burden on proof is on science not religion. Having religion (I hate that phrase) is about belief in something bigger than you or I (not just talking about Christianity here) where as science is about proof, to find the truth.

    I have tw questions, neither are a personal attack to the people I address them to but more so I may understand peoples oppinions.

    1) Motormouth. Why does common sense rule out the existance of god? What is your proof?
    2) James. Why is religion for week minds?

      This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now