Two tests at the Huge Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Europe, display this new compound has a huge of about 125 GeV, with 1 gigaelectron voltage about the large of a proton. The LHC is the most highly effective device on World, able to produce large explosions of power that produce new and unique contaminants in the 17-mile (27 kilometer) cycle beneath Europe and Portugal.
If the development can be verified as the Higgs boson, it will have large wide-reaching significances. Here are five of the greatest.
1. The origin of mass
The Higgs boson has long been thought the key to resolving the mystery of the origin of mass. The Higgs boson is associated with a field, called the Higgs field, theorized to pervade the universe. As other particles travel though this field, they acquire mass much as swimmers moving through a pool get wet, the thinking goes.
"The Higgs mechanism is the thing that allows us to understand how the particles acquire mass," said Joao Guimaraes da Costa, a physicist at Harvard University who is the Standard Model Convener at the LHC's ATLAS experiment. "If there was no such mechanism, then everything would be massless."
If physicists confirm that the detection of the new elementary particle is indeed the Higgs boson, and not an imposter, it would also confirm that the Higgs mechanism for particles to acquire mass is correct. "This discovery bears on the knowledge of how mass comes about at the quantum level, and is the reason we built the LHC. It is an unparalleled achievement," Caltech professor of physics Maria Spiropulu, co-leader of the CMS experiment, said in a statement.
And, it may offer clues to the next mystery down the line, which is why individual particles have the masses that they do. "That could be part of a much larger theory," said Harvard University particle physicist Lisa Randall."Knowing what the Higgs boson is, is the first step of knowing a little more about what that theory could be. It's connected."
2. The Standard Model
The Standard Model is the reigning theory of particle physics that describes the universe's very small constituents. Every particle predicted by the Standard Model has been discovered — except one: the Higgs boson.
"It's the missing piece in the Standard Model," said Jonas Strandberg, a researcher at CERN working on the ATLAS experiment. "So it would definitely be a confirmation that the theories we have now are right." If the newly detected particle turns out not to be the Higgs boson, it would mean physicists made some assumptions that are wrong, and they'd have to go back to the drawing board.
While the discovery of the Higgs boson would complete the Standard Model, and fulfill all its current predictions, the Standard Model itself isn't thought to be complete. It doesn't encompass gravity (so don't count on catching that fly ball), for example, and leaves out the dark matter thought to make up 98 percent of all matter in the universe.
3. The Electroweak Force
A confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson would also help explain how two of the fundamental forces of the universe — the electromagnetic force that governs interactions between charged particles, and the weak force that's responsible for radioactive decay — can be unified.