Father of “God Particles”: Nobel Laureate Peter Higgs Dies

“I think we have it,” CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said on July 4, 2012. “So the newly observed particle is consistent with the Higgs boson.

This particle is very elusive. Nobel laureate in physics Leon Lederman is said to have once called it the “God particle”. Because the Higgs decays so quickly that it escapes detection. Only its decay products can be detected in the remnants of high-energy particle collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Andreas Hoecker also described the Higgs particle as a “potential portal to new physics” to the Keystone-SDA news agency. He is a spokesperson for the ATLAS Research Collaboration, one of the four large particle detectors at the LHC.

A fraction of a second after the Big Bang, the Higgs field condensed into the cooling universe – and then it gave mass to all elementary particles that came into direct contact with it. “Without the Higgs field, our universe would be a completely different place,” says Hoeker.

The corresponding Higgs mechanism was theoretically predicted decades before the particle was experimentally demonstrated – independently by Peter Higgs, François Englert, and his now deceased colleague Robert Pruitt. The mechanism states: the stronger a particle interacts with the Higgs field, the greater its mass. This is one of the most important predictions of the standard model.

According to physicist Hocker, the “holy grail” of Higgs research lies in discovering a pattern called the Higgs potential. This is important in understanding the origin of the Higgs mechanism, which plays a fundamental role in the history of the universe.

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