have obtained tantalising evidence of a subatomic particle
called the Higgs
. It is thought to give substance
to all other matter
in the Universe
. The observation was made in the last month of an underground experiment that has been running since the late 1980's at the CERN
laboratory near Geneva.
Discovering the Higgs particle has been one of the prime goals of physics in the past decade. Also known as the God particle , the Higgs particle holds a key place in the modern theory of matter.
First proposed in the 1960's by Edinburgh physicist Peter Higgs, the particle is imagined to give mass or weight to the other fundamental constituents of atoms. The particles are created by smashing atoms into each other at close to the speed of light. Vast detectors the size of warehouses pick up the debris from the collisions, and in the past 3 months CERN physicists have identified just 3 events in which something resembling the Higgs particle appeared.