From Yahoo News:
This is as big as the, well, big bang theory: Scientists working at the world’s largest atom smasher say they have enough evidence of the long-sought-after Higgs boson.
To the layman, the Higgs boson is the “God particle” and a key puzzle piece in the scientific explanation of the origin of the universe. Physicists around the globe—and perhaps elsewhere, given the size of the universe—have invested billions of dollars in research and have been hunting for the Higgs boson for decades.
Researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (or CERN) are expected to announce Wednesday that they have proof of its existence, reports The Associated Press.
The Higgs boson appeared 13.7 billion years ago in the chaos of the Big Bang and turned the flying debris into galaxies, stars and planets.
Its formal discovery, according to a broad scientific consensus, would be the greatest advance in knowledge of the universe in decades and a key to confirming the standard model of physics that explains what gives mass to matter and, by extension, how the universe was formed, according to the AP.Rutgers University physicist Matt Strassler told Reuters that without the particle, “nothing like human beings, or the earth we live on, could exist.”
“We think the Higgs boson is a manifestation of the fact that the universe is filled with a force that we haven’t been able to detect yet that gives other particles mass,” Lykken told NPR. “It exists for a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second, or something like that, and then falls apart into other particles.”