Scientists at Europe’s CERN laboratory have found a new subatomic particle that could be the Higgs Boson, the basic building block of the universe.
“It’s a milestone,” announced CERN’s Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer to thunderous applause at the research centre near Geneva.
“I think we can all be proud, all be happy. But it’s the beginning. And I think also that it has global implications for the future and it comes at the right time. And I think we can be very, very optimistic.”
No one in the auditorium was more delighted than the man after whom the Higgs Boson particle was named. Briton Peter Higgs, now 83, was one of a group of physicists who first put forward the theory in 1964.
“I’m rather surprised it happened in my lifetime,” he said. “At the beginning, more than 40 years ago…people had no idea where to look for it.”
They may well have found it in the Large Hadron Collider on the Franco-Swiss border where scientists have been smashing particles together at near light speed.
The theoretical so-called ‘God Particle’ explains how suns and planets formed after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.