Why is everyone talking about the Higgs boson?

The ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), Geneva. Image: Claudia Marcelloni

Tonight scientists at the CERN research centre will release a press statement explaining whether or not they have found the Higgs boson. Although most of us are not too familiar with this hypothetical particle, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), Geneva, and a global network of scientists have been conducting experiments with the hope of detecting the elusive boson for the last two decades.

The Higgs boson fits into the Standard Model (SM) of physics and it is an elegant explanation of what gives particles their own mass. It is a hypothetical particle, which accounts for all of the unexplained mass in the universe.

If the Higgs boson is proven to exist, scientists will be one huge leap further in explaining how the universe began 13.7 billion years ago, as well as in understanding currently unexplained forces, such as dark matter and dark energy.

Source: CERN

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