Well, this is incredibly exciting! The scientific community has been searching for this for more than 45 years – and today, CERN has announced the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson.
There have been a few premature shouts of excitement in the past couple of years, but an analysis of the data sets shows a level of certainty that allows the teams to announce the new particle. This level of confidence is at the five-sigma point.
In simple terms, this means that the chances of observing the results they have if there is NO Higgs boson stand at around 1-in-3.5 million. Which is pretty close to saying they’re 100% sure.
Here are a few vital statistics on the new particle:
- Mass = 125.3 GeV (gigaelectronvolts)
- 133 times more massive than a proton
- The particle decays into photons, Z bosons and W bosons
- Gives matter mass
- Holds the fabric of the Universe together
Don’t underestimate how important this discovery is. It’s a giant step forward in our understanding of how and why our Universe works. I think it is exceedingly unlikely that this will not prove to be practically useful; but even if it is not immediately practically useful, the discovery is fantastic. Amazing. Awesome!
Taking another step, walking over the next hill, is vital in our journey. Look at how far we’ve come in the past few hundred years. Who knows where we’ll be next? I’ll be watching closely. Will you?