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Specifically, it divided an ancient " electroweak " force into the electromagnetic and weak forces we see at work today. The latter is seen in some radioactive decay processes, and is involved in creating sunshine. The Higgs boson is the quantum particle associated with the Higgs field. The simplest version of the Higgs boson is described by the Standard Model , a group of equations that explain how known particles interact with each other. There are plenty more complex versions though.

Some of these could take ten years to rule out , according to Matt Strassler, a physicist at Rutgers University in New Jersey. One more point. The Higgs field, if real, is responsible for only a tiny proportion of mass. The Higgs field is thought to give mass to quarks and electrons, but that makes up only one or two percent of an object's mass. Let's say I weigh 80kg.

That means less than a kilo comes from the Higgs field. Beyond that there's little certainty. A near-minimal implementation of supersymmetry, perhaps augmented with ultra-weakly interacting particles, is the prettiest possibility. So I'd like several Higgs particles, Higgsinos , some ghostly stuff, and a pony. Elementary particles interact with this 'charge' and acquire mass.

The Higgs boson | CERN

It is not necessarily clear, however, what is responsible for that charge in the first place and that is what determines what experiments will see. I've even bet chocolate based on those odds. If not true, I think a heavier composite Higgs boson made up of more fundamental components might be the answer. The most spectacular possibility is that these new particles are the magnetic monopoles that Paul Dirac predicted.

The machine runs at half energy so far, and no one expects relevant for the Higgs particle results. The earliest known galaxy merger occurred shortly after the Big Bang. June 27, In a first, telescopes tracked a lone fast radio burst to a faraway galaxy.

Massive: The Higgs Boson And The Greatest Hunt In Science: Updated Edition

Conversations with Maya: Moon Duchin. Some ancient crocodiles may have chomped on plants instead of meat. Antioxidants may encourage the spread of lung cancer rather than prevent it.


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DNA reveals a European Neandertal lineage that lasted 80, years. June 26, Conversations with Maya: Thomas Rosenbaum. Signs of the color blue have been found in a fossil for the first time. June 25, These fungi drug cicadas with psilocybin or amphetamine to make them mate nonstop. A new algorithm finds nearby stars that could host hidden worlds. Dried Earth microbes could grow on Mars with just a little humidity.

June 24, Gut microbes might help elite athletes boost their physical performance. The highest-energy photons ever seen hail from the Crab Nebula. New approaches may help solve the Lyme disease diagnosis dilemma. June 23, Results in particle physics are ranked on a scale from zero to five "sigma.

A two-sigma finding translates to about a 95 percent chance that results are not due to a statistical fluke. While that might seem impressive, it falls short of the stringent five-sigma level that high-energy physicists traditionally require for an official discovery. Five sigma means there's a less than one in a million probability that a finding is due to chance. Based on CERN's June announcement that the teams now have more than double the data they had last year, ALICE's Evans thinks it's likely the groups could announce they've reached a four-sigma level of certainty—that is, they are While that result still won't be enough to count as an official discovery, "it would be strong enough that most physicists would be quite comfortable betting a month's salary that an announcement of the discovery of the Higgs will come by the end of the year," said Evans, who's based at the U.

Alternatively, the two groups would also have enough data to determine if last December's results were a statistical fluke. A negative result would be equally exciting for physicists, Evans added, because it would hint at completely new physics, forcing a rethink of the laws of the universe. The Higgs boson is one of the final puzzle pieces required for a complete understanding of the standard model of physics—the so-far successful theory that explains how fundamental particles interact with the elementary forces of nature.

The so-called God particle was proposed in the s by physicist Peter Higgs to explain why some particles, such as quarks—building blocks of protons, among other things—and electrons have mass while others, such as the light-carrying photon particle, do not.


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Higgs's idea was that the universe is bathed in an invisible field similar to a magnetic field. Every particle feels this field—now known as the Higgs field—but to varying degrees.

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If a particle can move through this field with little or no interaction, there will be no drag, and that particle will have little or no mass. Alternatively, if a particle interacts significantly with the Higgs field, it will have a higher mass.