Jul 05, 2012 07:46 AM EDT
CERN Scientists Discover New Particle; Is it Higgs Boson?
CERN scientists have discovered a new subatomic particle which possibly is the elusive 'God' particle known as the Higgs Boson that is believed to be the key for the formation of the Universe.
During a conference held Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, CERN scientists announced that they have found a particle which must be the heaviest boson ever found.
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"The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we're seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it's the heaviest boson ever found," said CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela during the press conference.
"The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks."
The scientists at CERN are working for decades to find the particle which is a key to the formation of the universe. They built the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) from 1998 to 2008 in order to recreate the moments after the big bang, by colliding the beams of the protons that are moving towards each other at a speed close to the speed of light.
In collaboration with several institutes across other countries, CERN has been holding six experiments to detect the particles at the LHC. ATLAS and CMS are general-purpose detectors which involves in the search for the Higgs Boson.
Two medium-sized experiments ALICE and LHCb are used as specialized detectors to analyze the LHC collisions, while two small-sized experiments OTEM and LHCf are used to observe protons that move towards each other.
Based on the experiments performed by the two large-sized detectors ATLAS and CMS, scientists have received strong indications that the new particle found could be the 'God' particle.
"We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage," said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti adding that "a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication."
Scientists are now hoping to determine whether the characteristics of the particle are similar to the expected properties of the Higgs Boson. They believe their discovery is a major leap towards understanding the formation of the universe.