The discovery of Higgs boson, the so-called God particle, will help scientists explain how particles have mass, could throw light into the supersymmetric particles and thereby light up investigation into the make-up of the dark matter.
First and foremost, it will answer long-held questions like what is the source of mass and why some particles have mass and others don't have.
The answer to these questions lies on the yet-to-be discovered particle, the Higgs boson, also known as the creation particle. In other words, if Higgs boson is not found, scientists will have to change the Standard Model postulation through which they explained how sub-atomic particles interacted with each other. In the absence of the Higgs boson, another explanation for how particles get their mass will be needed.
Higgs boson was first hypothesized in 1964 by Edinburgh University physicist Peter Higgs. But it is yet to be found, and this sub-atomic particle is fundamental to the understanding the nature of matter. It is the particle that gives mass to other particles and it exists in an all-pervading field, called the Higgs field.
The Standard Model theory, which forms the basis of modern particle physics, relies heavily on Higgs boson. It built the framework in modern times for the understanding of the way the universe was built. It offers the notional structure of the nature of matter and how the universe came into being. But this model has a missing link in it, and that is the Higgs boson. The undiscovered particle is alluded to divinity in popular parlance, by virtue of its being elusive. However, the scientific community has been bemused with the coinage, and says it could have been termed differently, like ‘important particle’, for example.
Working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), physicists are hell bent on reverse-engineering the make-up of the cosmic dish which happened 13.7 billion years ago.
They are in search of cryptic clues that hide the instructions for the cosmic recipe, and the Higgs boson is one potent missing link that could throw light into how life as we know today emerged out of the all-encompassing stardust resulting from the Bing Bang billions of years ago.
"Take a massive explosion to create plenty of stardust and a raging heat. Simmer for an eternity in a background of cosmic microwaves. Let the ingredients congeal and leave to cool and serve cold with cultures of tiny organisms 13.7 billion years later," this is how CERN cuts out its unenviable but exciting task.
The attempt to complete the puzzle of Universe's DNA met with some success in early 1970s. Scientists probing into how the Universe came alive had a big breakthrough when physicists Peter Higgs, Robert Brout and François Englert postulated the theory of the missing God particle to solve the mystery of creation of the universe.
According to CERN scientists, particles had no mass just after the Big Bang. An invisible force field, called the ‘Higgs field,’ arose as the Universe cooled and the temperature fell below a critical value. This force field contained the Higgs boson, which was pervasive in the universe. Any particle that interacted with it were given a mass via the Higgs boson. The more they interacted, the heavier they became, whereas particles that never interacted were left with no mass at all.
Scientists also postulate that the discovery of Higgs boson could also lead to new findings in particle physics, including fundamental physical symmetry, or 'supersymmetry.'
The Standard Model describes in detail the fundamental particles that make up the Universe and the interactions between them. But the elusive particle, Higgs boson, which is the lynchpin of this theory, has created a gap in this model. Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have been working to establish experimental data to fill in the missing link.
The ATLAS and CMS detectors at the LHC are looking for supersymmetric particles to test a likely hypothesis for the make-up of dark matter, which makes up 96 percent of the universe, according to CERN.
"Everything we see in the Universe, from an ant to a galaxy, is made up of ordinary particles. These are collectively referred to as matter, forming 4% of the Universe. Dark matter and dark energy are believed to make up the remaining proportion, but they are incredibly difficult to detect and study, other than through the gravitational forces they exert," according to CERN.
Investigating the nature of dark matter and dark energy is one of the biggest challenges today in the fields of particle physics and cosmology, it says.
Experiments at the $10-billion hadron collider have been focused on finding the Higgs Boson. When streams of protons were fired through the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator some unusual results were visible, giving a hint of the existence of the missing God particle, CERN said last week.
However, scientists have downplayed the scope of the new finding, and did not rule out the possibility that the fluctuations were misreading or passing phenomena.
"I hope the big discoveries will come next year", said Rolf Heuer, director-general of the CERN research centre, at a physicists' conference in Grenoble, France. "I would say we can settle the question, the Shakespearean question — ‘to be or not to be’ — by the end of next year."