- Trump’s rant about Megan Rapinoe devolves into treatise about PC culture in the NBA 5 Years Ago
- Is Millie Bobby Brown joining the MCU? 5 Years Ago
- Hundreds of thousands demand that Etika’s previously deleted YouTube channel be restored Today 10:18 AM
- Eric Trump says cocktail waitress spit on him in Chicago bar Today 9:47 AM
- Maine governor signs net neutrality bill into law Today 9:07 AM
- How the QAnon movement continues without its messenger Today 8:26 AM
- 6 best Korean beauty products for summer Today 8:17 AM
- ‘The Office’ is leaving Netflix in 2021 Today 7:46 AM
- How to install the iOS 13 beta and test out its best new features Today 7:42 AM
- Swipe This! I want my boyfriend to text me everyday. Is that crazy? Today 7:30 AM
- Why every 2020 Democrat is canceled Today 7:01 AM
- The best LGBTQ movies and series on Amazon Prime Today 7:00 AM
- The easiest way to stream all the soccer you can handle Today 6:00 AM
- Facebook refused to take down this blackface page for 4 months Today 5:30 AM
- Tom Holland rescues fan getting squashed by autograph hounds Tuesday 7:14 PM
Expect more collisions in 2015, Swiss scientists say.
Congratulations, CERN: You’ve just confirmed that the Higgs Boson particle you thought you found in 2012 is, in fact, the Higgs Boson.
What are you going to do next?
Use the Large Hadron Collider to ram more particles into each other—at nearly double the previous speed.
In a new groundbreaking paper published in Nature on Monday, CERN scientists proclaimed the discovery as “heralding a new era” in physics, and speculating that the elusive particle could be the key to “possibly completing the standard model of particle physics.”
In the report, scientists reveal that the particle behaves in ways long-predicted by theorists before it was discovered. Essentially, this means that the Higgs Boson breaks down, or decays, into one of two other kinds of particles, bosons and fermions. Think of these as infinitesimal bundles of energy that act upon each other to create all matter as we know it. Bosons are “force carriers,” which means they can act upon fermions, i.e. “matter carriers,” to hold them into place and keep them—and subsequently you—from flying apart and scattering across the universe.
Until the report’s findings, scientists hadn’t been able to observe the Higgs Boson’s decay into fermions, only into bosons. This is because the Higgs Boson is one of the most short-lived particles known to scientists, with a decay path that’s very hard to trace. CERN scientists finally have observed the decay path for the Higgs Boson in both states, and, crucially, for two types of fermions—quark pairs and leptons.
“We now know that the Higgs particle can decay into both bosons and fermions, which means we can exclude certain theories predicting that the Higgs particle does not couple to fermions,” said Vincenzo Chiochia, a member of the CERN team from the University of Zurich’s Physics Institute.
As for what this means, Discovery points out that while the current observations uphold the Standard Model of particle physics, they also aren’t particularly exciting, because they only confirmed what scientists already thought. The findings also failed to point scientists toward further study of dark matter or gravity.
But luckily for all you adventurous physicists out there, soon CERN will be slamming particles together once again, now that a 16-month-long upgrade to the LHC has been completed. CERN announced yesterday that it has commenced a very long cooldown of the LHC, with the goal of running it at almost two times its previous speed.
“It’s effectively a new machine, poised to set us on the path to new discoveries,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer at a press conference. CERN has also upgraded its particle detectors, which should hopefully make tracking down the decay path of the Higgs Boson even easier.
Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.