“It does look like the SM (Standard Model) Higgs boson,” said physicist Brian Petersen of Atlas, one of the specialists who led the Higgs project at CERN in Switzerland.
His claim, voiced at a conference at CERN and posted on the Internet, was confired by the other group. “So far, it is looking like an SM Higgs boson,” said slides from Colin Bernet of CMS.
The two groups conducted the research work on the found particle separately and without comparing findings to ensure their conclusions are reached independently.
It has been assumed since the announcement last June that a new particle spotted at CERNS’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was the Higgs, named after British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs, that, theories say, gave mass to matter after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
“We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer at the time.
“The discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle’s properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe.”
However, CERN has yet to confirm that, Reuters reports. CMS is expected to provide further information on Thursday at an expert gathering in the Italian Alps. A confirmed discovery of the Higgs boson, which could happen this year, would likely win a Nobel prize.
Meeting at CERN, near Geneva, the scientists said that the finding looked very much like it fit into the 30-year-old Standard Model of the makeup of the universe.
If confirmed on Thursday, it would mean LHC scientists will have to wait until late in this decade for any sign of “new worlds of physics”.
Before the revelation came scientists had believed that the discovered particle might prove to be something more than the particle that would fill the last gap in the Standard Model, a comprehensive explanation of the basic composition of the universe.
Rumors flew of a “super-Higgs” that might – as recently predicted by U.S. physicist Sean Carroll in a book on the particle – “be the link between our world and most of the matter in the universe.”
Many scientists and cosmologists will be disappointed that the LHC’s 3-year run from has not produced any evidence of the two grails of “new physics” – dark matter and supersymmetry.
“Dark matter is the mysterious substance that makes up some 25 percent of the stuff of the universe, against the tiny 4 percent – galaxies, stars and planets – which is visible. The remainder is a still unexplained “dark energy,” Reuters explains.
“The theory of supersymmetry predicts that all elementary particles have heavier counterparts, also yet to be seen. It links in with more exotica like string theory, extra dimensions, and even parallel universes.”
“I think everyone had hoped for something that would take us beyond the Standard Model, but that was probably not realistic at this stage,” said one researcher, who wished to remain anonymous.
The LHC closed down last month for two years of work that will double its power, and, it is hoped, the reach of its detectors.