It's a Higgs boson!! Now what? After confirming that the particle discovered last July really is a Higgs boson, the Large Hadron Collider is ready to look for other universes, figure out dark matter, recreate the Big Bang, or find something totally unexpected.
Martial Trezzini / Keystone / AP / File
Less than five years after it went live, the Large Hadron Collider has confirmed the existence of a Higgs boson, the particle which may explain how other particles get their mass.
The confirmation comes today (March 14), after a July 2012 announcement of the elementary particle's discovery. At the time, researchers strongly suspected they'd found a Higgs, but needed to collect more data. Since then, they've more than doubled the amount of data they have on the particle using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 17-mille-long (27 kilometers) underground ring on the French-Swiss border where protons zing around at near the speed of light.
With a Higgs boson discovered, what more is there for this enormous and unusual piece of machinery to do? Lots, according to physicists.
For one thing, scientists are still working out whether the Higgs boson they've discovered fits the Standard Model of physics or if it better fits another theory. (So far, the Standard Model appears to be the winning candidate.)
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