Higgs Boson, Maybe

Excellent piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the Higgs boson discovery. Here’s the lead…

It took a very large village to find the Higgs boson — one with 10,000 scientists and engineers who came from 600 institutions in more than 100 countries. In the variety of languages one hears at the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva, better known as CERN, it resembles the Olympic Village. But its common language is physics, not sports, and CERN differs from the other village in another important way: It aims to advance science through international cooperation; matters of national pride are left at the door.

Meanwhile, out at UC Berkley, it was standing room only in the Chan Shun Auditorium to hear physicists explain WTF all this excitement is about. Full video…

The Wikipedia entry says it best…

Proof of the Higgs field (by confirming its boson), and evidence of its properties, are seen as likely to greatly affect human understanding of the universe, validate the final unconfirmed part of the Standard Model as essentially correct, indicate which of several current particle physics theories are more likely correct, and open up “new” physics beyond current theories. On 4 July 2012, the CMS and the ATLAS experimental teams at the LHC independently announced that they each confirmed the formal discovery of a previously unknown boson of mass between 125–127 GeV/c2, whose behaviour so far was “consistent with” a Higgs boson, while adding a cautious note that further data and analysis were needed before positively identifying the new particle as being a Higgs boson of some type.

Yes, it’s something to get excited about, but cool your electrons as we await confirmation.

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