The biggest breakthrough in fundamental physics in nearly 30 years

ATLAS Experiment © 2012 CERN

Scientists at the University of Sheffield working with researchers from across the world at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN hail a physics breakthrough, as a subatomic particle consistant with the elusive ‘God particle’ is found.

Rolf Heuer Director of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), told scientists: “We have now found the missing cornerstone of particle physics.”

A seminar was held this morning at the European Particle Physics Laboratory relayed to staff and students at the University of Sheffield Hick’s Building by scientist Dr Davide Costanzo.

Professor Dan Tovey of the University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy who led the Sheffield team said: “This is potentially the biggest breakthrough in fundamental physics for at least thirty years.

“These results provide the most stringent test so far of the Standard Model of particle physics, which represents in a single equation our understanding of how the universe works at the smallest distance scales.”

The Higgs boson is seen by scientists as the key to our understanding of why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight.

Scientists will now determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe. However, positive identification of the new particle’s characteristics will take considerable time and data.

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