'God particle' might have been discovered
Published: Sunday, July 1, 2012, 9:28 p.m.
GENEVA — It has been fancifully dubbed “the angel of creation” and, to the particular scorn of physicists, “the god particle.”
The Higgs Boson is said to have appeared out of the chaos of the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago and turned the flying debris from that primeval explosion into galaxies, stars and planets. It's regarded as the key to understanding the universe. Its job is to give particles that make up atoms their mass.
Its formal discovery, according to a broad scientific consensus, would be the greatest advance in knowledge of the universe in decades.
Until now, in the four decades of research since its existence was first posited, no one has claimed to have seen more than a hint of it.
This may be about to change. On Wednesday at the CERN research center near Geneva, “Higgs Hunters” are expected to announce they have spotted it. Or something like it.
“Think of it as a smoking duck,” said Oliver Buchmueller, a senior scientist on one of the teams. “If it walks like a Higgs and it quacks like a Higgs, then we would have to at least consider the possibility.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Empty, $36M facility justified, general finds
- Robert Gumbita retains Mt. Pleasant School Board president seat
- North Korea leader apparently boots uncle from post
- Hezbollah commander shot down
- ‘Dangerous’ radioactive material found in Mexico
- Female protesters get prison in Egypt
- Benghazi dangers frighten diplomats
- Rebels raid Christian village
- U.N. in Iraq worried about uptick in bodies found
- Canadian arrested in bid to pass ship info to China
- Detained vet worked with group of guerillas