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Old 07-05-2012, 05:52 PM   #146
Anti Hero
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Default Higgs Boson Particle

It was the biggest of Big Science, a $10 billion effort involving 6,000 researchers, a 17-mile circular tunnel deep beneath the border of France and Switzerland, thousands of torpedo-size magnets capable of bending beams of subatomic matter, and trillions of subatomic collisions — all in the quest for a momentary hint, the slightest residual footprint, of an elusive particle called the Higgs boson.

And it worked.
Wednesday’s announcement by scientists in Europe that they’d found the Higgs boson, or something remarkably Higgs-like, was a stunning triumph of both theory and experiment.

Peter Higgs, a theorist who envisioned the particle as a young man in 1964, teared up as he attended the discovery announcement in Geneva.

“It’s really an incredible thing that it’s happened in my lifetime,” Higgs, 83, said when he took the microphone before a packed auditorium at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which operates the Higgs-hunting Large Hadron Collider.

The Higgs — famously dubbed “the God particle,” to the chagrin of scientists — is so fundamental to the universe that, in its absence, nothing could exist. The particle is thought to create a sort of force field that permeates the cosmos and imbues other particles with the property known as mass — the resistance to being shoved around.

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