Higgs Boson Teams: We've Found a Particle

New particle looks just like long-sought boson

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 4, 2012 3:43 AM CDT | Updated Jul 4, 2012 7:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – To cheers and standing ovations from scientists, the world's biggest atom smasher claimed the discovery of a new subatomic particle today, calling it "consistent" with the long-sought Higgs boson. CERN's director said the newly discovered subatomic particle is a boson, but he stopped just shy of claiming outright that it is the Higgs boson itself—an extremely fine distinction.

"As a layman, I think we did it. We have now found the missing cornerstone of particle physics. We have observed a new particle that is consistent with a Higgs boson." His comments came as the leaders of two teams comprised of a total of 5,100 scientists each presented in complicated scientific terms what was essentially extremely strong evidence of a new particle. One called it "a Higgs-like particle" and said "we know it must be a boson and it's the heaviest boson ever found." The Higgs boson, which until now has been a theoretical particle, is seen as the key to our understanding of why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight.

The core of the world's largest superconducting solenoid magnet at CERN's Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini, file)
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