The Higgs boson has been found!
Last week I reported that CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) was optimistic regarding the particle found last July. At that point, scientists believed it was exhibiting all the properties necessary of the Higgs boson. On Thursday, CERN confirmed that that particle is in fact the Higgs boson. This is the particle believed to give the universe mass. Without the presence of the Higgs everything would be photons and moving at the speed of light; physical structures would be unable to form.
The results were released at the Moriond Conference in Italy. The team analyzed two and a half times more data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) than was available in July of 2012. The data was collected from two experiments known as CMS and Atlas. The results indicate that the spin parity scientists were looking for last week appears to be present in this particle. Dr. Tony Weidberg of Oxford University says that this will be the start of a new story of physics. If the particle does truly have a spin of zero, it will be the first elementary particle of its kind.
This is a huge jumping-off point for scientists to further explore our universe and spacetime itself. The mass of the Higgs is used to determine the vacuum instability of the universe. Which means that at some point, billions of years in the future, the universe will create a tiny bubble that will eventually expand into an endless void.
Scientists are not entirely sure if this Higgs boson is the one theorized by the Standard Model or one of many bosons believed to exist by other theorists. Supersymmetry theory estimates that there could be as many as five Higgs particles. For now though, scientists are thrilled with the presence of one.