Two independent studies of data produced by smashing proton particles together at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider produced a convergent near-certainty on the existence of the new particle.
It is unclear that it is exactly the boson Higgs foresaw, which by bestowing mass on other matter helps explain the way the universe was ordered after the chaos of Big Bang.
But addressing scientists assembled in the CERN auditorium, Heuer posed them a question: “As a layman, I would say I think we have it. Would you agree?” A roar of applause said they did.
For some, there was no doubt the Higgs boson is found: “It’s the Higgs,” said Jim Al-Khalili of Surrey University, a British physicist and popular broadcaster. “The announcement from CERN is even more definitive and clear-cut than most of us expected.
“Nobel prizes all round.”
Higgs, now 83, from Edinburgh University was among six theorists who in the early 1960s proposed the existence of a mechanism by which matter in the universe gained mass. Higgs himself argued that if there were an invisible field responsible for the process, it must be made up of particles.
In case my take wasn’t enough for you, here’s some more updates from smart people around the web. They all weigh in on what the CERN neutrino observations mean, what they don’t mean and what the sources of error might be:
“You think you’d know his name, every time you switch on the light or turn on your radio. His contributions are as far-reaching as those of Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, or even his nemesis - Tom Edison.
This mysterious, tall, dark Serbian invented alternating current, wireless communication, the modern electric motor, basic laser and radar technology, X-rays, neon, robotics, remote control and cellular technology and even Star wars tactical warfare all over a hundred years ago.”
A short, informative (and .. really strangely narrated) documentary about a man who is undoubtedly my favourite scientist. The world has seen many extraordinary, prolific minds that have forever transformed the scientific field over which they reigned, but Tesla’s contributions — although all stemming from the study and principles of Physics — have literally changed aspects of how nearly everything in science and society functions “to the benefit of all of mankind”.
“The world, I think, will wait a long time for Nikola Tesla’s equal in achievement and imagination.”
Beautiful video from National Geographic explaining the utter brilliance that are black holes and exploring the (theoretical) possibility of time travel, featuring clips with Stephen Hawking and astrophysicist Richard Gott.
“Despite being no wider than an atom, cosmic strings have colossal density. A string just one yard long would exert more gravity than the Earth.”