We may be one step closer to unlocking the secrets of the universe. Scientists have discovered a subatomic particle that they believe may be the long sought-after Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle” that is thought to have played a fundamental role in the creation of the universe.
The Higgs boson was named after British physicist Peter Higgs, who proposed a theory in the 1960′s that a different type of particle would be necessary to adhere other particles together and allow matter to form from individual atoms. Since then, scientists have searched for this “sticky” particle, and now thanks to experiments at the Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland with the Large Hadron Collider, a huge device that smashes atoms together at extremely high speeds, has uncovered preliminary signs of a Higgs-like particle.
“We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature,” said CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer. “The discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle’s properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe.”