20-Year Search for Mystery Particle May Have Come to a Close after Major Discovery

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20-Year Search for Mystery Particle May Have Come to a Close after Major Discovery

Common Dreams staff

On Wednesday leading physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced they have found a new sub-atomic particle consistent with the famed, yet previously undiscovered, 'Higgs boson particle'.

As the theory goes, the particle is thought to provide for the collection of mass of the smallest 'building blocks' of matter, such as electrons, according to the Guardian. The Higgs boson 'field' of particles is said to be the essential primary ingredient necessary for the construction of planets, stars, and all matter in the universe.

The particle has thus far only existed in theory and has been sought after for over 20 years.

Scientists stopped short of claiming that the discovery was, without a doubt, the elusive Higgs boson, also known as the 'god particle', but expressed confidence that a scientific breakthrough has been made.

Scientists at the CERN used a giant underground machine called a Large Hadron Collider where protons are smashed together at nearly the speed of light.

Jeff Forshaw, a physicist at Manchester University, said: "This is sensational news and quite brilliant science. Without doubt, CERN has delivered us a new particle that looks every bit like the long-sought-after Higgs boson, which is absolutely central to our understanding of how the universe works at its most elemental level. I have waited over 20 years for this moment and am thrilled by the news. The excitement will continue now, as we all try to figure out just how this thing behaves."

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