Physicists on experiments at the Large Hadron Collider have observed a new particle that future analysis may show to be the long-sought Higgs boson, the missing piece in the Standard Model of particle physics. In December 2011, researchers on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and ATLAS experiments announced seeing tantalizing hints of a new particle in their hunt for the Higgs. Since then, they have more than doubled their collected data, which led to the July 2012 announcement of a new particle. Credit: CERN/CMS collaboration 2011

Researchers on a scientific quest to understand Higgs Boson

November 21, 2012 by Miles O’brien & Marsha Walton

The search for a mysterious subatomic particle can certainly involve some enormous tools, not to mention a multitude of scientists. The effort to find the elusive “Higgs boson” includes over 5,800 scientists from 56 countries! It’s a subatomic particle that gives other particles, such as quarks and electrons, their mass.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), physicists Michael Tuts at Columbia University and Kyle Cranmer at New York University are among the 21st century explorers who have been on the hunt for the Higgs.

“There is an important and fundamental synergy that’s not to be missed in challenging the deepest scientific questions of our time, while simultaneously educating new generations of scientists and engineers, and developing technologies that can advance society and propel the world’s economy in the future,” says Saul Gonzalez, program director for Experimental Elementary Particle Physics, within NSF’s Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

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