Higgs boson clears key hurdle

2012-09-10 17:03

Paris - The announcement two months ago that physicists have discovered a particle consistent with the famous Higgs boson cleared a formal hurdle on Monday with publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Two laboratories working at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) had jointly announced on 4 July they had detected a new fundamental particle in experiments at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva.

The discovery has been hailed as one of the biggest scientific achievements ever.

The teams, from labs called Atlas and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), on Monday each published their findings in the European journal Physics Letters B.

Although Cern's announcement was never doubted, it still had to be vetted by peers and then published in an established journal to meet benchmarks of accuracy and openness.

Further work is being carried out to confirm whether the new particle is the famous Higgs, whose existence was theorised back in 1964 to explain why elementary particles obtain mass.

Without the Higgs, atoms could not form, which means the physical Universe would not exist, say scientists.

"The discovery reported in these papers is a momentous step forward in fundamental knowledge," said Atlas spokespereson Fabiola Gianotti.

"It is the culmination of more than 20 years of effort of the worldwide high-energy physics community to build and operate instruments of unprecedented technology, complexity and performance."

More than 5 000 researchers worldwide took part in the long quest, and both papers are dedicated to the memory of colleagues who had died.

Physics Letters B was where British physicist Peter Higgs first published a letter, Broken symmetries, massless particles and gauge fields, that sparked the hunt for the boson.

His name is attached to the particle, but two other groups of theoreticians can also claim to have made major contributions.

  • brendon.lieberz - 2012-09-10 17:50

    Awesome. Now I can sleep better at night...

      graham.wallington - 2012-09-10 18:27

      ... and still exist when you wake up in the morning.

      mbossenger - 2012-09-10 20:44

      with mass...

  • jaco.barkhuizen - 2012-09-10 19:41

    Now it is the turn of the time for the religious creationist to pass the same hurdle...

      zaatheist - 2012-09-10 19:51

      Not going to happen. they have way to much invested in keeping the tithing sheeple stupid.

      jaco.barkhuizen - 2012-09-10 20:36

      Wow, a thumbs down and no comment. What a surpise. I can't see why not should be easiy enough to have that 'theory' peer reviewed and published?

      zaatheist - 2012-09-10 20:59

      The thumbs down are from nervous pastors, bishops reverends and priests who fear that science endangers their future income prospects. They perceive anything that adds further weight or explanation to Big Bang or evolution theories as threats as they disprove their claims to Bible inerrancy. Because Genesis is not true then the fall and the rest of the Bible is not true and their whole business plan used as the basis to frighten silly people is destroyed. They also seem to be under the impression that a thumbs down might save them.

      abram.spamers - 2012-09-11 09:03

      No the thumbs down is essentially because you are making controversial statements with the goal of generating the conflict you seem to feed off of like a parasite. The thumbs up are from other atheists such as yourself that seem excited that there are others like themselves that believe in nothing (except maybe a few moral principles and Santa), or believe that it is religion that is evil. Anyway... the reason why there are so few comments from the thumbs down... is that nobody wants to argue or speak with you... you have made up your mind...

      jawa.bunter - 2012-09-11 09:15

      Abram Nobody wants to argue or speak with you... you have made up your mind...

      abram.spamers - 2012-09-11 09:47

      @Jawa - Well yes. Which is why we are not talking about it... that was the point... that there is no point. Anyway isn't secular humanism a glorified form of atheism?

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-09-10 21:21

    At last some hope for the Obese.

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