The discovery of the Higgs boson particle at CERN, Switzerland is indeed path breaking in its impact on our understanding of what gives mass to particles to form matter. It is a wonderful example of international cooperation in the area of science to unravel nature’s mysteries. The result has brought worldwide attention to three great physicist of the world Higgs, Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose. That Higgs is alive and is seeing the theory he propounded, nearly 50 years ago being validated by experiments during his lifetime is in itself, a great achievement and tribute to the modern scientific community.
TheHiggs boson particle is referred to as the God particle , after the title of a book by Leon Lederman, on particle physics namely, The God Particle : If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question? published in 1993. It is said, in the original title it was The Goddamned Particle but the book’s editor changed it to The God Particle and ever since the media lapped it up. Today, it also indicates the mystery attached with such sub atomic particles like the Higgs boson particle, which exist but are are elusive in nature.
The god particle requires so much energy to create that it requires a massive particle accelerator to create collisions to create it and also record the traces of its decay. The detection of this elusive particle was made possible in 2008, when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was inaugurated and is the most powerful accelerator ever built.
The Higgs boson particle exists only for a tiny fraction of a second before breaking into other particles, making it very difficult to be directly detected, and can only be identified by analyzing the results of its fast decay . In late 2011, two sets of independent experiments
The Higgs boson particle is the missing piece in the Standard Model, the theory that describes the basic building blocks of all matter in the universe. The rest of the11 particles predicted by this Model have already been found and finding the Higgs boson will validate the Model. It is believed that in the first billionth of a second after the Big Bang, the universe was a gigantic soup of particles without any mass and was traveling at the speed of light. It was predicted by Higgs that through the interaction of these particles in a defined Higgs field, they gained mass and the universe was formed.
Therefore Big Bang type conditions were needed to be created in the LHC, by making two proton beams collide with each other in opposite directions and create millions of tiny particles every second, thus mimicking the first few seconds of the Big Bang. The high speed high capacity computers would analyze the generated Higgs boson particles data.
It is interesting to know that even after confirming the existence of Higgs boson particle, it is said that scientists know only about 4% of the existing matter and 94 % is still unknown. Indeed a long way to go before the mystery of God’s universe is fully unravelled.