At a press conference in Melbourne Wednesday morning, CERN’s experts said the evidence for the particle’s existence was observed in the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland.
The ATLAS experiment, also on the lookout for the elusive particle that is said to give all universe size and shape, will be announcing its experiments later today.
By combining data sets from both experiments, the researchers are able to confirm the existence of the particle with even bigger certainty — there’s about one in a 3.5 million chance the scientists would get these results if the Higgs boson didn’t exist.
“I’m rather surprised that it happened in my lifetime – I certainly had no idea it would happen in my lifetime at the beginning, more than 40 years ago, because at the beginning people had no idea about where to look for it, so it’s really amazing for me to find out that it’s really enough… for a discovery claim,” said professor Peter Higgs, who was present at the conference.
The discovery of the new particle is not the end of the search, though. Scientists will now have to measure the properties of the newly found boson in order to definitively confirm it is the Higgs boson, and not a different, more “exotic” particle. It’s a process that takes time, but today’s breakthrough stands as one of the most important scientific discoveries in recent times.
Though this big announcement renders some of this video obsolete, it’s still a good breakdown of what the Higgs boson is, and why we’re looking for it.