'God' particle may have been spotted at CERN

Physicists at Large Hadron Collider race to verify results before global conference in July

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The first inclination is to assume that W and Z simply exist and interact with other elemental particles. But for mathematical reasons, the giant masses of W and Z raise inconsistencies in the Standard Model. To address this, physicists postulate that there must be at least one other particle – the Higgs boson. " – Origins, Exploratorium.edu

If this isn't Higgs, we'll need a bigger collider

Confirming the Higgs exists would end an increasingly expensive search depending on larger and larger particle colliders that seems to have culminated in the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, where the secrets of the universe are probed at the theoretical risk it will create black holes that could destroy the Earth (here is CERN's Twitter feed).

Built partially underground in tunnels bored through the Alps, the $10 billion LHC hasn't produced either black holes or definitive answers about the Higgs, at least not yet. If it can't produce definitive answers, the only choice would be to build a bigger, higher-energy collider.

However, d uring an experiment in December, scientists found a signal that could indicate a Higgs particle, but with a mass far less than expected, Wired reported.

That doesn't mean it wasn't the Higgs. If it was, the low mass would contradict the simplest models of how subatomic particles interact. While simple is usually good, under both Occam's Razor and the quest for reproducible experimental results, an unexpectedly svelte Higgs would indicate some more complex explanation was necessary. Supersymmetry, for example, assumes every fundamental particle of matter would have one "shadow" particle carrying mass and another carrying force.

The Standard Model with the heavy Higgs boson in place is simpler and more definitive, but the weak evidence of it coming out of LHC experiments in December left the odds that it exists at slightly less than 50-50, according to separate groups of physicist sources quoted in both Wired and the NYT.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters/ATLAS/CERN

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