The Higgs Boson: Whose Discovery Is It?
On July 4, scientists at Europe’s Large Hadron Collider will present their latest results on the search for the Higgs boson, many physics bloggers eagerly speculating that they will officially announce the discovery of this long-sought particle. Not to be outdone, U.S. researchers at Fermilab will be presenting their final analysis from Tevatron data regarding evidence for the Higgs. And precious more bits of information could come out during the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Melbourne, Australia, which runs July 4 to 11.
“Until pretty recently, there didn’t seem to be any real prospect of discovering the Higgs,” said Nobel-prize-winning theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg from the University of Texas at Austin. “Now the time is finally ripe for finding it.”
While the history books will likely remember the final announcement of the Higgs discovery at the LHC most clearly, the road to discovering this strange particle has been a long one, paved by many.
The Higgs boson was first predicted during the 1960s and theories about its workings were refined in subsequent decades. It is the final particle in the so-called Standard Model – physicists’ working theory of all known particle and force interactions in the universe – and is needed to provide the other elementary particles with their mass.