Scientists: Particle Looking "More and More" Like Higgs


The subatomic particle whose discovery was announced amid much fanfare last year, is looking "more and more" like it could indeed be the elusive Higgs boson believed to explain why matter has mass, scientists said Wednesday.

But in the latest update, physicists told a conference in La Thuile, Italy, that more analysis is needed before a definitive statement can be made.

Key to a positive identification of the particle is a detailed analysis of its properties and how it interacts with other particles, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) explained in a statement.

Since scientists' announcement last July that they had found a particle likely to be the Higgs, much data has been analysed, and its properties are becoming clearer.

One property that will allow several teams researching the particle to declare whether or not it is a Higgs, is called spin.

A Higgs must have spin-zero.

"All the analysis conducted so far strongly indicates spin-zero, but it is not yet able to rule out entirely the possibility that the particle has spin-two," said CERN.

"Until we can confidently tie down the particle's spin, the particle will remain Higgs-like. Only when we know that it has spin-zero will we be able to call it a Higgs."

British physicist Peter Higgs theorized in 1964 that the boson could be what gave mass to matter as the Universe cooled after the Big Bang.

Last July, scientists said they were 99.9 percent certain they had found the particle without which, theoretically, humans and all other joined-up atoms in the Universe would not exist.

Comments 3
Default-user-icon Commenter (Guest) 07 March 2013, 12:21

I hope I see comments and ideas here instead of the stupid political section.

Missing eurybaric 07 March 2013, 20:28

Agreed! From what I've been reading here and there, a lot of scientists are actually hoping it would turn out to be not the standard model Higgs, which would shed light on new physics! Nevertheless, the proof of existence (and even more importantly, the discovery of its properties) will be ground breaking as far as modern (read: all) science goes. Many scientists - the charming Brian Cox included - liken this breakthrough to the discovery of electrons, which in only a century, totally changed our way of life!

I'm hoping for the best.

And also hoping for a future where here in lebanon matters such as these would transcend petty quarrels over government seats and the like.


Default-user-icon Non-political (Guest) 10 March 2013, 10:36

I agree also. These studies are more important and can be applied directly to our life.. for instance, trying to identify if there is any actual mass in the brain of General Clown, since it is subatomic in size.