Want to know more about the Higgs boson and the Large Hadron Collider? Here are the numbers.
For physicists, July Fourth fireworks may have come in the explosive announcement that a new particle had been found, one that is likely the long-sought Higgs boson thought to confer mass on all other matter.
The Higgs finding came from two experiments called ATLAS and CMS taking place at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) within the world's largest atom smasher, called the Large Hadron Collider. There, physicists send protons at near light-speed around the 17-mile-long (27 kilometer) underground ring beneath Switzerland and France. The protons collide head-on to create explosions that give rise to new, exotic particles.
Here's a look at the atom-smashing machine, the possible Higgs particle and the scientists involved, by the numbers:
5: The level of significance called sigma found for the new particle in the ATLAS experiment. A 5 sigma means there is only a 1 in 3.5 million chance the signal isn't real.