Hold onto your lab coats, scientists. CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, came forward with a new batch of Higgs Boson news. Now that the researchers have gone through all of the data collected last year and can confidently says that the evidence "strongly indicates" that the little blip in the graph they discovered last summer is the Higgs Boson. This is slightly more conclusive than last summer, when they said they'd found a particle that resembles the Higgs Boson but couldn't confirm with absolute certainty that it was the Higgs. They still can't. But they are more certain.
At this point it almost feels like the CERN scientists are double-dipping into the Higgs Boson excitement sauce. Motherboard's own Michael Byrne anticipated a news blast like this a week before the official announcement, when an over-eager CERN scientist revealed in a tweet how close they were to confirming Higgs' existence. Data also suggested, however, that the more conclusive results also take some of the air out of futuristic physics fans' sails. In other words, now that there are fewer mysteries attached to the Higgs Boson, there's a little less hope that scientists will find something world change.
This statement from one of CERN's monitoring teams sort of says it all. "To me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is," Joe Incandela told Reuters on Thursday. How long? Decades, say the people that understand how complex this process truly is. "Knowledge about nature does not come easy," physicist Matt Strassler wrote a few months ago. "We've no choice but to be patient." After all, the concept of the Higgs Boson has already been around for five decades. What's a few more?
As much as we jest, it's incredibly impressive work, and cheers to CERN for not jumping the gun with such a momentous announcement. So let's celebrate! There's no reason you shouldn't indulge in a little bit of Higgs Boson bombast.Go out to the nerdiest bar you can find and ask them for some CERN-themed creation. Call your friend from college who did better than you in physics classes and geek out over things like quarks and anti-matter and bosons. If you still don't know what the heck a Higgs Boson is, by the way, this video will be helpful: