What is the god particle 5

Researchers apparently detect "Higgs boson" particles

The "god particle" was only suspected for years

The illustration shows the decay of a fictional Higgs boson. (picture alliance / dpa / Cern)

Researchers at the European nuclear research center CERN have discovered a particle that could be the so-called Higgs boson. It explains how matter gets its mass - why, for example, atoms, planets or even our own bodies are held together.

The Higgs boson is the last particle that can be found in the theoretical models of physicists, but has not yet been proven. The British physicist Peter Higgs, after whom the particle is named, said in Geneva: He hardly believed that the experimental evidence would be successful during his lifetime, said the 83-year-old. It was a "huge success" and "really great".

The namesake: The physicist Peter Higgs (AP / Keystone, University of Edinburgh / Alan Walker) It is said by the scientists at CERN that the discovered particle is in accordance with the Higgs boson theory. However, it is a preliminary result, but it is very certain. Two weeks ago the rumors of the discovery of the Higgs boson had been growing.

Germany involved with millions in funding

Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan (CDU) called the statistically well-established evidence a "scientific sensation". She emphasized that German researchers played a key role in the discovery of the particle. Over the past 15 years, her ministry has funded German universities for their work at the CERN particle accelerator with a total of 175 million euros.

CERN itself called the discovery "preliminary". According to the researchers, more data will be available by the end of July. The discovery is definitely a new particle, a boson, and it is the heaviest boson that has been found so far. The next step will be to precisely determine the particle - and its significance for understanding the universe. The question is whether its properties correspond to the Higgs boson particle, as expected, or whether this is something more exotic.

In an interview with the program "Conclusion", CERN boss Rolf-Dieter Heuer spoke about the so-called Higgs boson, the limits of our physical worldview and the consequences of the find for science and said: "We will celebrate now!"

The term "God Particle" (originally: "The God Particle"), which scientists have rejected, goes back to the book of the same name by Leon M. Lederman, a Nobel laureate in physics in 1988.

How reliable is the data?

The CERN scientists give the probability of the discovery of the Higgs boson with "5 Sigma". In statistics, the probability that a value deviates from a random distribution is indicated by the abbreviation sigma. The higher this sigma value, the more certain one can be that a statistically determined result is not based on random fluctuations or measurement errors. A sigma of 5 corresponds to an error rate of only one in a million.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) (CERN) particle accelerator The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) in Geneva - the largest particle accelerator in the world - was also built to prove the existence of the ominous Higgs particles. In the 27 kilometer long accelerator, researchers use high energy to shoot atomic nucleus components - so-called protons - at each other. In doing so, they create particles like those that existed during the Big Bang and measure them with the help of huge detectors.


Background information:
Standard model of physics and explanation of the Higgs boson particle

Further information on deutschlandradio.de:
Interview with CERN boss Rolf-Dieter Heuer
Sensation at Cern - conversation with Dirk Lorenzen
Physicists are hot on the heels of the Higgs
Creator of the masses - physicists sift through the Higgs boson

Deutschlandradio will report in detail on the discovery, including in the following broadcasts:
Conclusion
Information in the evening (audios)
Local time (audios)
Research Current
Science in focus
science and technology