Chatter suggesting that the Higgs boson – the theoretical source of all mass – has been found is mounting. But if that's true, the 'God particle' will raise questions of its own.
The buzz is building as physicists prepare to present the latest results in their hunt for the Higgs particle – the key to answering the question: Why does matter have mass?
The definitive statement about what scientists involved in two major experiments at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva have found and their levels of confidence in the results comes early Wednesday morning. But one blog that has developed a reputation for reliable – if unofficial – analysis of forthcoming research has already predicted that scientists have found the long-sought particle.
In his blog, viXra Log, independent British physicist Philip Gibbs combined data from the two experiments at CERN as well as two experiments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. His analysis "favors" the presence of some sort of Higgs particle.
The discovery of the Higgs particle would be momentous because it would vindicate scientists who theorized that its existence would explain a core mystery of physics. Three independent groups of physicists first proposed it in the 1960s to explain why fundamental particles – the most basic building blocks of matter – had enormous differences in mass.
In particular, wondered why electrons, which whiz around the nucleus of an atom, are ultralight, while quarks, which make up the protons and neutrons in the nucleus, are heavier.