Tech UPTechnology10 years have passed since the discovery of the...

10 years have passed since the discovery of the Higgs boson


Scientist Peter Higgs, along with other researchers, proposed in the 1960s a mechanism associated with the “standard model”. They predicted the existence of the Higgs boson in 1964 , as a hallmark of the process that gives mass to elementary particles. It took 50 years to find this particle that was essential for the entire standard model of physics to make sense.


Happy Anniversary

To find the particle, we had to wait for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, which was founded on September 29, 1954 and is the focal point of a community of 10,000 scientists from around the world. In 2010, the LHC began binding protons at extremely high energies, while two major experiments, ATLAS and CMS, used massive detectors to peer through the debris. The discovery of the famous particle completed the missing cornerstone of the standard model of particle physics.

Its discovery, in July 2012, captured the media around the world. Additionally, it awarded a Nobel Prize to two of the scientists who developed the theory behind the Higgs boson, François Englert and Peter Higgs, after whom the particle is named. In 2012, Higgs and his collaborator Francois Englert won the Nobel Prize for “theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass for subatomic particles”. Its existence supports the existence of all matter in the universe.

At the world’s largest particle accelerator, where protons are smashed together at near the speed of light in a vast 27-kilometre tunnel, scientists knew they had found evidence of their decay in 2012.

A discovery that turns 10

The existence of the Higgs boson is one of the reasons why everything we see, including ourselves, all planets and stars, has mass and exists; that is why it was called the ‘God particle’ . Scientists have spent this past decade cataloging its properties, including how it interacts with other particles.

By 2018, scientists had determined that 58 percent of Higgs bosons decay into b quarks, also known as beauty or background quarks.

The investigation continues. Detailed study of the Higgs boson could help scientists solve mysteries that the standard model fails to explain. For example, the Standard Model has no explanation for dark matter, a shadowy substance that throws its weight around the cosmos, exerting a gravitational pull necessary to explain a variety of astronomical observations. Nor can it explain why the universe is composed primarily of matter rather than antimatter.

Fortunately, we are in a good moment. The launch of Race 3 of the Large Hadron Collider is about to start. It has generated so much buzz that it will be broadcast live on all CERN social media channels from 4pm on Tuesday 5 July.


O. Brüning et al. The scientific potential and technological challenges of the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider program. Reports on Progress in Physics. Vol. 85, March 29, 2022, p. 046201. doi: 10.1088/1361-6633/ac5106.

M. McCullough. Implications of New Physics Models for the Couplings of the Higgs Boson. Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science. Vol. 71, July 9, 2021, p. 529. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nucl-122320-041022.

S.D. Bass, A. De Roeck and M. Kado. The Higgs boson implications and prospects for future discoveries. Nature Reviews Physics. Vol. 3, July 15, 2021, p. 608. doi: 10.1038/ s42254-021-00341-2.

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