Higgs Boson wins Nobel Physics Prize – 10/13/13 – Pegah Bakhshi

Higgs Boson, key to the universe, wins Nobel Physics Prize – 10/8/13

Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned astrophysicist, lost a bet on July 3rd, 2013. Hawking bet that the elusive Higgs Boson particle would never be discovered, and, on July 3rd 2013, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) announced the discovery of a particle that was “consistent” with the Higgs Boson; this was a discovery that consequently led to the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics being awarded to Peter Higgs of Great Britain and François Englert of Belgium. These two scientists were not the only two scientists working on the discovery of this alleged “God particle,” but arguably contributed the information to bolster the prediction of the existence of the Higgs Boson particle, which “explains how elementary matter attained the mass to form stars and planets.”

In order for one to understand what the Higgs Boson particle is, one must understand the fundamentals of the Standard Model; this Model states the universe consists of twelve different matter particles and four forces, all of which theoretically have a corresponding carrier particle, or boson, that acts upon matter. Just as the photon transmits electromagnetic force to matter, scientists think that the boson transmits mass itself. Although it is a hard concept for a non-particle physicist to grasp, the implications are boundless. Hawking himself states, “if the decay and other interactions of this particle are as we expect, it will be strong evidence for the so-called standard model of particle physics, the theory that explains all our experiments so far.”

The official description of the Prize written by the Nobel Committee read: “For the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the Atlas and CMS experiments at Cern’s Large Hadron Collider.”

Further Reading: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/08/us-nobel-physics-idUSBRE9970B620131008

 

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