A Quick Guide To The Higgs Boson

There’s rumors swirling that the elusive Higgs Boson may have been found. In fact, a video purporting to announce new developments in the search has leaked out according to Wired and numerous other news outlets. So I thought it would be fun to take a moment to actually learn what the heck the Higgs Boson is. Here are some very quick bits about the discovery and what it means.

What Scientists Are Saying

First, here’s what scientists are saying at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (aka CERN) according to the video:

“We’ve observed a new particle. We have quite strong evidence that there’s something there. Its properties are still going to take us a little bit of time,” Joe Incandela, spokesman for the CMS experiment, one of the main Higgs-searching experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, said in the video. “We think this is pretty darned significant.”

So what is it? Well, the Higgs Boson is basically the final piece to a difficult science puzzle. It’s basically the part of the puzzle that proves a theory about the interactions of subatomic particles and forces. These interactions are what give all particles their mass. In other words, it’s what proves that mass is formed out of 12 basic building blocks. That’s why it has been given the nickname ‘The God Particle,’ a name that many in the science community dislike as they believe it to be misleading / overstates the particle’s importance. This whole puzzle, by the way, is called the Standard Model of Physics.

Announcement Coming Tonight

CERN will be making an announcement at 11p.m. PST tonight in case you want to get in on the live action. Wired will have the live stream on their homepage so be sure to check it out there.

Physicist Aidan Randle-Conde from Southern Methodist University will be live-blogging the announcement and doing his best to help make all the scientific jargon a bit easier to understand.