This massive machine is probably shut off for a while, because it seems to have served its purpose. It turns out it really found the famous Higgs boson. Scientists at least say so after having analyzed 2,5 times more data than last year, to confirm the finding.
The Higgs until recently only existed in theory. In 1964 Peter Higgs first predicted it was out there somewhere, but it still needed to be found. That’s why at the laboratory CERN in Switzerland scientists have been smashing together particles at the speed of light and taking fourty million pictures per second to document the collision.
On July fourth 2012 they finally found something that looked like a famous Higgs boson. It would make the particle physics picture complete: the Higgs boson is the missing link in the so called Standard Model. The small particle gives mass to elementary particles.
There still is the possibility that the found particle is a boson predicted in theories that go beyond the Standard Model, but the results strongly indicate otherwise. This is good news: loads of scientists have been working on the project, it costed tens of billions of dollars and would be ‘the discovery of the century’.
To experience the Eureka moment again and learn more about what it actually means, here’s a video of the New York Times.
Source: ABC, CERN, New York Times