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Scientific American

If You Want More Higgs Hype, Don't Read This Column

4 Jul 2012, 14:30 UTC
If You Want More Higgs Hype, Don't Read This Column
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So it’s finally, probably, maybe, happened. Although they are still hedging a bit, physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, announced this morning that they had found the long-sought Higgs boson. First postulated almost a half century ago by physicist Peter Higgs (who attended the press conference today at CERN) and others, the Higgs particle is believed to confer mass to quarks, electrons and other building blocks of our world. (For a primer on the Higgs, see this terrific video by Scientific American ‘s George Musser.) After presentations by two groups gathering data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, CERN director general Rolf Dieter Heuer said, according to The Independent , “As a layman, I would say that I think we have it. Do you agree?” After the audience erupted into applause, Heuer added, “We have a discovery. We have observed a new particle consistent with a Higgs Boson but which one, it remains open.” “If scientists are lucky,” Dennis Overbye wrote in The New York Times , “the discovery could lead to a new understanding of how the universe began.” [More]

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