In an above the fold front page article in the NYT, scientists believe they have finally discovered the elusive Higgs boson particle, the one that gives mass to the atom. “I think we have it” said Rolf-Dieter Heuer, director general of CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider that was responsible for producing the new data by massively accelerating and colliding protons. While there remains some caution about the findings, it is a reason to celebrate and it is not too often that discoveries in particle physics make it into a front page, above the fold article in the New York Times. If this identification turns out to be correct, this is one of the most important discoveries in particle physics in decades and opens up all kinds of new possibilities for future research and modeling, including the possibility that the Higgs boson may help to unify the mechanisms of strong forces of atomic interactions and the weaker forces of gravity. But first more experimental work will be required to be certain that the identity of the new particle is secure. Perhaps it is another subatomic particle that would be equally important for further understanding the structure of the atom and its dynamic character.
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