Turning points in history – things or events that define lasting change in the world we know. The industrial revolution, Henry Ford’s automobile, penicillin, Einstein’s theory of relativity, firsts in aviation and space, the discovery of electricity, and the digital computer invention were some of these turning points. The landmark observation of the long sought Higgs-like particle or boson in July 2012 is such a turning point.
The Higgs had been the last undiscovered particle predicted by the Standard Model, a theory that describes the fundamental particles of matter and the interactions that work between them. Using massive amounts of data from the Large Hadron Collider, international collaborations announced in March 2013 that new evidence strengthens the case that scientists have discovered a Higgs boson and appears to confirm that a Higgs field really exists. Understanding the mysteries of our universe - why particles have mass and why we and everything about us exist - is just beginning with this discovery. Physicists now have a direction for exploration of the Standard Model and if it should be changed.
Read about the Higgs boson experiments, new accelerator designs, and further explorations in Dr. William Watson’s latest white paper In the OSTI Collections: the Higgs Boson. DOE research reports on the Higgs boson research are available from Scitech Connect.