Physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research confirmed today that they have discovered a subatomic particle that is a crucial building block of the universe. Called a Higgs boson, this particle will help to explain what gives matter in the universe size and shape. The existence of the particle was predicted in 1964 as a component of the most widespread model of the physical universe. The particle takes its proper name from Peter Higgs, the physicist who proposed its existence, but the boson particle has been popularly nicknamed the "God particle."
It's barbecue season, and you need to sound smart while drinking beer around your charred meat. But how will you discuss the most important scientific news of the year — and maybe of the decade — if you don't know anything about it? It's okay. We're here to explain what "the God Particle" is, and whether or not the Europeans found it.
Scientists emerged from their particle-smashers on Tuesday to let the world know that they still haven't found the Higgs boson—the so-called "God particle" that could explain why objects have mass—and that they still need a few more months, at least, to find this totally real thing that is not an excuse for physicists to throw lavish parties inside the enormous CERN dome with all that grant money:
The Large Hadron Collider is an enormous, $8 billion machine built to detect the existence of certain hypothesized-to-exist particles. But detect how? What if, instead of looking for particles, scientists could listen for them? This is what they'd sound like.