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OCTOBER 25, 2012

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Finally, the God particle is here !




The much-awaited discovery of the aptly named “God particle” was welcomed with thunderous applause by the scientists gathered in the auditorium of the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), the particle accelerator lab located underground on the border of Switzerland and France. Two independent teams of physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider (LCH), the specially designed smasher, arrived at the results separately, which showed that the particle was very much similar to the Higgs boson, as predicted earlier.  






The Higgs boson is named in the honour of Peter Higgs who had  proposed the existence of this particle some of its theoretical properties. The Higgs boson or the God particle is a proposed elementray particle in the Standard Model in physics. If this theory is true, a matching particle should also exist and be detectable to validate the theory.




In mainstream media, it is often referred to as "the God particle", after the title of Leon Lederman's book (The God Particle: If Universe Is The Answer, What Is The Question?).  Many physicists oppose the epithet and regard it as inappropriate sensationalism since the particle has nothing to do with God nor any mystical associations, and because it is misleading: the crucial focus is on learning how the symmetry-breaking mechanism takes place in nature — the search for the boson is a major step towards this goal.






The experiment, touted as the biggest in the history of mankind, marks the culmination of decades of untiring research to unveil the elusive particle. The particle can help us understand the universe much better and can also potentially help us achieve several breakthroughs in the treatment of several diseases.




Consequently, it has been the target of a long search in particle physics. A primary goal of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland — the most powerful particle accelerator and an extremely complex scientific  machine — is to test the existence of the Higgs boson and measure its properties which would allow physicists to validate this cornerstone of modern theory.


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