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Higgs boson is finally discovered

 
The British physicist Peter Higgs arrives at the European Center for Nuclear Research headquarters during a news conference, in Geneva.

There’s a 5-in-10 million chance that this is a fluke. That was enough for physicists to declare that the Higgs boson – the world’s most-wanted particle – has been discovered. Rapturous applause, whistles and cheers filled the auditorium at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland.

Almost 50 years after its existence was first predicted, the breakthrough means that the standard model of particle physics, which explains all known particles and the forces that act upon them, is now complete.

A Higgs boson with a mass of around 125 to 126 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) was seen separately by the twin CMS and ATLAS detectors at the Large Hadron Collider, each with a confidence level of 5 sigma, or standard deviations, the heads of the experiments announced today at CERN.

Even by particle physicists’ strict standards, that’s statistically significant enough to count as a particle discovery.

“I think we have it,” said Rolf Heuer, director general of CERN, as he concluded a hotly-anticipated seminar, which began today at 9am local time.

Around the world the results were being watched at the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Melbourne, Australia.

 

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