Physicists say they have discovered a new particle that is consistent with the Higgs boson, a long-sought particle crucial to scientists’ current understanding of how the universe is built, although they will need additional data to pin it down with near absolute certainty. Joe Incandela, leader of one of the teams, told scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, that the new particle was definitely a boson and the heaviest boson ever found. “The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks.” he said in a statement.
The new particle found at CERN is in the mass range of 125-126 GeV, or gigaelectronvolts, which means its mass is 125-126 times greater than the mass of a proton. CERN said their data had pinned down the mass of the new particle with an extremely high level of statistical certainty. "It’s hard not to get excited by these results.” said CERN Research Director Sergio. However, the researchers cautioned that the current finding was still preliminary and they expect more data from additional experiments in coming months. One crucial detail would be for them to pin down specific properties that the Higgs boson is supposed to have. For example, the theory predicts it will have a spin of zero. –WSJ
Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes the nature of the Higgs boson. Several large experimental groups are hot on the trail of this elusive subatomic particle which is thought to explain the origins of particle mass.