Hunting the Higgs

  • The world’s most ambitious physics endeavor has delivered: On July 4th, officials from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced that two major experiments using the Large Hadron Collider, an enormous circular particle accelerator buried on the border between France and Switzerland, have found preliminary evidence of the long-sought Higgs boson, a subatomic particle at the center of one of the biggest mysteries in physics: What gives matter mass? “It’s hard not to get excited by these results,” said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci. “We stated last year that in 2012 we would either find a new Higgs-like particle or exclude the existence of the Standard Model Higgs. With all the necessary caution, it looks to me that we are at a branching point: the observation of this new particle indicates the path for the future towards a more detailed understanding of what we’re seeing in the data.” Watch the announcement here, and peruse our collection of videos offering expert insight into the elusive Higgs.

  • Brian Greene on Why Finding the Higgs Boson Matters

  • What Are We Looking For?

    Finding the Higgs boson was no easy task. CERN physicist Monica Dunford explains what scientists expect to see when they find the Higgs.
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  • The Story of the Higgs Boson

    In this clip from NOVA's Fabric of the Cosmos, the story of Peter Higgs' controversial realization is told by the man himself.
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  • Why Do We Think the Higgs Particle Exists?

    Brian Greene explains why the theoretical Higgs boson is so important to the Standard Model of Physics, the backbone of how we understand the world around us.
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  • Searching for New Particles

    The Large Hadron Collider is a miraculous piece of technology that has been charged with discovering new fundamental physics particles. But how can scientists design an experiment to detect new particles when they don’t know what these particles look like?
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  • Five Years. One Experiment

    The history of the Large Hadron Collider—the $6 billion, 17-mile tunnel beneath the Franco-Swiss border that is ostensibly the world’s largest science experiment.
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  • The Standard Model and Supersymmetry

    Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek explains how supersymmetry—or SUSY—could be the ideal “unified theory.”
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  • Waiting for the Higgs

    Brian Greene writes in The New York TImes about the history of the Higgs boson and what confirming its discovery could mean for physics as we know it.

  • What is ALICE?

    Physicist Jennifer Klay explains how scientists use the Large Hadron Collider to recreate the conditions of the universe just after the Big Bang, and how the ALICE detector looks specifically at phases of matter.
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  • Will the LHC Kill Us?

    When the Large Hadron Collider first came online, there was much disinformation and fear about the tremendous energy levels required to run the experiments.
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  • Images and materials courtesy of CERN