After much excitement, the Force has not been found. But don’t be sad, my fellow nerds. Scientists may have not found evidence of the Higgs boson yet, but they have discovered “tantalising hints” that may indicate its presence.
According to CERN, “these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery” but they have been recorded. They have discovered that the elusive particle is “most likely to have a mass constrained to the range 116-130 GeV.” This mass region shows “unexplainable excesses on these decay channels” that may be caused by the Higgs boson. However, there is not enough data to confirm this.
The Higgs boson is an hypothetical massive elementary particle that should exist according to the Standard Model. In theory, this particle is everywhere, permeating all of reality. The existence of this particle would be part of the answer to a very important question: why particles have mass?
What happens if they don’t find the Higgs boson?
The scientists at the Large Hadron Collider now say that they would have a definitive answer to the the existence or not existence of the Higgs boson some time in 2012. But what happens if they find proof of its non-existence? Would the universe disappear in a poof of smoke and confetti?
Fortunately, scientists are kind of like Groucho Marx: if they can’t prove a theory, they have others. [CERN]