What is Higgs Boson?

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The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which hosts the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), recently announced that scientists at the organisation found the first evidence of the rare process by which the Higgs boson decays into a Z boson and a photon.

About Higgs boson:

  • It is the fundamental force-carrying particle associated with the Higgs field, a field that gives mass to other fundamental particles such as electrons and quarks. 
  • It is one of the 17 elementary particles that make up the Standard Model of particle physics, which is scientists' best theory about the behaviors of the universe's most basic building blocks.
  • Higgs boson plays such a fundamental role in subatomic physics that it is sometimes referred to as the "God particle."
  • It was proposed in 1964 by Peter Higgs, François Englert, and four other theorists to explain why certain particles have mass.
  • The particle was finally discovered on July 4, 2012, by researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
  • Features:
    • The Higgs boson has a mass of 125 billion electron volts  —  meaning it is 130 times more massive than a proton , according to CERN.
    • It is also chargeless with zero spin  —  a quantum mechanical equivalent to angular momentum.
    • The Higgs Boson is the only elementary particle with no spin.
    • Its a "force carrier" particle that comes into play when particles interact with each other, with a boson exchanged during this interaction.

Key facts about Large Hadron Collider (LHC):

  • It is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
  • Location: Near Geneva, Switzerland; across the border of France and Switzerland.
  • The LHC, built by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), is on the energy frontier of physics research, conducting experiments with highly energised particles.
  • The LHC can reproduce the conditions that existed within a billionth of a second of the Big Bang.
  • The colossal accelerator allows scientists to collide high-energy subatomic particles in a controlled environment and observe the interactions.
  • One of the most significant LHC breakthroughs came in 2012 with the discovery of the Higgs Boson.


Q1) What are quarks?

Quarks are elementary particles. Like the electron, they are not made up of any other particles. Quarks are the ultimate building blocks of visible matter in the universe.

Source: Rare Higgs boson decay observed in Large Hadron Collider experiments