Scientists working at Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) reported on Friday that they detected what is believed to be the first glimpse of the Higgs boson, or "God particle".
Two separate teams working with different detectors at the LHC at Cern, the European particle physics lab where the world's most powerful atom smasher is, reported ‘bumps’ in their data which usually is an indicator of a new discovery.
The Collider detectors, Atlas and CMS, detect signs of new physics by smashing subatomic particles together in an 18-mile rounded tunnel at nearly the speed of light.
Scientists point out it's too early to conclude that the missing particle could be the cause of the bumps. The bumps could also be caused by computer glitches and flaws in data models.
Both detectors reported unusual data bumps that could be a glimpse of the elusive particle. The Atlas team reported a bump between 120 and 140GeV, while CMS team found two bumps in the same region.
“We cannot say anything today, but clearly it's intriguing. The picture would become clearer as the groups gathered more data and combined results in the next few months,” Fabiola Gianotti, Atlas team's spokeswoman, told the Guardian.
If scientists find the Higgs boson, it will prove that the Standard Model, which has been a cornerstone of particle physics for decades, is correct. The standard model says that the Higgs boson is the reason that some particles -- and the atoms of which they are made -- have any mass at all, and why photons do not.
No experiment has directly observed the Higgs boson yet. The Higgs is called the God particle after the title of a book by American physicist Leon Lederman, in part becuase it would help unify several branches of physics by proving the Standard Model.