What's the Latest Development?
Data collected over the last several years at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, are consist with data from European labs that point to the presence of the elusive Higgs particle, one of the most fundamental elements in the Universe. The American lab found a 'bump' in their data between 115 and 135 billion electron volts, a miniscule measurement of mass (an electron, by comparison, has a mass of half a million electron volts). More powerful European labs had found a similar bump between 124 and 126 billion electron volts.
What's the Big Idea?
According to the Standard Model, an ambitious series of equations that explain how the Universe works at its most basic physical level, the Higgs particle is essential. It is responsible for giving mass to matter. Yet the mass of the Higgs itself remains a mystery. Physicists say either outcome, finding it or not, will be exciting. "If the Higgs does not exist, they will have to come up with a new model of how the universe works. If they do find the Higgs, studying it might give them clues to deeper mysteries the Standard Model does not solve."
Photo credit: shutterstock.com