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How the Higgs gives Mass to the Universe

4 Jul 2012, 19:03 UTC
How the Higgs gives Mass to the Universe
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“This is evidently a discovery of a new particle. If anybody claims otherwise you can tell them they have lost connection with reality.” -Tommaso Dorigo
You’ve probably heard the news by now: the Higgs boson — the last undiscovered fundamental particle of nature — has been found.
The fundamental types of particles in the Universe, now complete.
Indeed the news reports just keep rolling in; this is easily the discovery of the century for physics, so far. I’m not here to recap the scientific discovery itself; I wrote what to expect yesterday, and that prediction was pretty much exactly what happened, with CMS announcing a 4.9-σ discovery and ATLAS announcing a 5.0-σ discovery, of a Higgs boson at 125-126 GeV. You can watch a recording of the press conference announcing the official discovery here, and all observing scientists were thoroughly convinced of both the quality and veracity of the work.
Screenshot from the original, live webcast of the seminars leading up to the presentation. Taken at the moment the CMS team first said the words "5-sigma," long known as the gold standard for discovery in the field.
So, the Higgs boson has been discovered! That’s good news. You may have ...

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