Last 4thof July 2012 the final piece of the puzzle was discovered. The Higgs Boson was seen at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN,
completing all the elementary particles in the Standard Model of particle physics.
The announcement was made at CERN’s auditorium in Switzerland. The conference was
held the same day the Conference on High Energy Physics in Australia, were physicists from all around the world listened attentively as director general of CERN Rolf Heuer announced the discovery of the most wanted particle in the world.
After almost 50 years since its prediction, the Higgs boson’s existence was confirmed by two separate experiments: the CMS and the ATLAS. They were both able to see the Higgs, with a mass of 125 to 126 GeV (gigaelectronvolts), the mass predicted by Peter Higgs. The finding was not announced until it had a confidence level of 5 sigma (or 4.9, to be exact) which means there is less than 1 in a million chance the Higgs boson was not really the Higgs boson. With these statistics, scientists felt confident to proclaim they had discovered a new particle.
Though this particle completes the Standard Model, physicists still have lots of work to do. First, they need to analyse the Higgs boson and study its properties, which may not be as predicted and give a few surprises to scientists all around the world.
If the Standard Model is complete and its predictions are all correct, there is still some investigation needed. The model, although it covers most forces in the Universe, it can’t explain gravity, or even dark matter (which makes up to 85% of the universe) or dark energy (responsible fort the accelerating expansion of the universe).
However, we still have to give our most sincere congratulations to the teams at CERN for being able to discover the Higgs boson, the God particle or whatever you want to call it.