It seems that the particle identified last year at the Large Hadron Collider is highly likely to be a Higgs boson.
The Higgs, a particle that would effectively give particles their mass, was first suggested decades ago. Since then, scientists have been trying to use particle accelerators to prove the existing ‘Standard Model’ of particle physics.
The particle accelerators work by colliding two existing particles together, although the output of this process is not necessarily a combination of what went in. Instead, it ‘disappears’ and completely new particles are formed; this is what gives the Higgs boson the popular title, the “God particle”.
The latest statement from CSM, one of the Higgs teams, said: “It is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is.” This comment refers to the fact that several types of Higgs are hypothesised to be in existence.
The findings come after three years of constant particle collisions at the research centre, at a rate of around 40,000,000 collisions a second. However, since the findings last year the Large Hadron Collider has been shut down for an estimated two year repair programme, due to technical issues that meant it was never running at full power.
It is due to recommence in November 2014 at full energy, which will allow scientists to carry out the most powerful collisions ever attempted.