Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

CERN discovers a Higgs-like particle: let the party (and head-scratching) begin

By Martin White

The discovery of the Higgs boson is the most significant finding in particle physics for decades and is potentially capable of solving a long-standing mystery concerning the origin of mass.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva, have announced the observation of a new particle widely thought to be the elusive Higgs boson.

Announced via a live two-way video link to the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) in Melbourne, the result is the most significant finding in particle physics for decades and is potentially capable of solving a long-standing mystery concerning the origin of mass.

All matter in the universe is ultimately composed of subatomic particles, and the hugely successful Standard Model of particle physics mathematically describes what these particles are and how they interact.

The physicists of the 1960s knew most of the details, but 
found that any attempt to give particles a non-zero mass broke the theory.

As any personal trainer will tell you, mass is a fact of life, and it was not long before a handful of physicists...

Martin White is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, where he is busy searching for new particles in the LHC data and working with international theorists and astrophysicists on how to unravel the mystery of dark matter. This article was originally published at The Conversation.