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Questions and Answers: The Higgs Boson

As I told you shortly before, we’ll be answering all questions we receive from you guys on the site here, so everybody can benefit; again, if you have any scientific questions, to throw them our way and we’ll get them as soon as possible

Question: What the heck is a Higgs Boson, and why should we care?

This one’s tricky. First of all, we don’t know if the Higgs boson is real; if it were real, it would be an elementary particle, meaning that it has no other substructure – it isn’t built of anything else, it is one of the building blocks of the Universe.

We don’t know a lot of things about the Universe we live in, but we’re trying to figure them out. That’s why physicists postulated the Standard Model: a theory concerning electromagnetic, weak, and strong nuclear interactions, which, if proven true, would solve a lot of questions about regarding the particle world. So far, the Higgs boson is the only particle predicted in the Standard Model which hasn’t been found yet, so confirming or disproving its existence would be very important for our understanding of particles; it would be a huge step forward in the world of physics, and although there are no practical direct benefits, in the long run, we will greatly benefit from this discovery.

Shorties: Rumors explode regarding the Higgs Boson

Nothing is clear at the moment, and we don’t want to get all sensationalist right now; but rumors about the researchers at LHC preparing to announce something big, following a press conference with showed some pretty promising results. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath – in an inside email, Rolf Heuer, director-general of CERN said:

“These results will be based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the Summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the Higgs.”