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July 06, 2012

Scientific Breakthrough: The Discovery of the God Particle

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

A major piece of the puzzle over how the existence of the universe came to be, might have just been discovered this week. What seemed like the literary creation of historical fiction author, Dan Brown, is beginning to materialize as not-so-much fiction because there are indeed laboratories on the Franco-Swiss border where scientists of the European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN, have been diligently researching the substance called antimatter or the “God Particle.” And on July 4th, an announcement to the scientific community about the discovery of this particle, gave even more reason to set off fireworks.

The God Particle, the Higgs boson, antimatter, dark matter or whatever anybody prefers to call it, the elusive particle that scientists herald as the essential force behind the Big Bang Theory was announced by Rob Roser, the scientist leading the research, to have been discovered from within their laboratories to a room of scientists. A standing ovation followed this announcement.

But before humankind gets swept away by this monumental claim, many in the scientific community, including those involved in the research, are hesitant to proclaim that this particle is the real McCoy; rather, Professor John Ellis of King’s College London tells the Associated Press (News - Alert), “I agree that any reasonable outside observer would say, `It looks like a discovery.’” However, Ellis prefers to word it as, “We've discovered something which is consistent with being a Higgs."

83-year-old Peter Higgs, the scientist for whom the particle is named, seems satisfied regardless. For Higgs, seeing something come this close to supporting his life’s work within his lifetime is reason enough for him to celebrate. And after the billions of dollars invested in the research and billions of years it took to reach this discovery, many respect this event as a major footprint on the path to answering one of life’s big questions.

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Edited by Rich Steeves
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