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The HIGGS BOSON is a massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model in particle physics. At present there are no other known fundamental scalar particles in nature.
The Higgs boson is the only Standard Model particle that has not been observed. Experimental detection of the Higgs boson would help explain the origin of mass in the universe.
The Higgs boson would explain the difference between the massless photon, which mediates electromagnetism, and the massive W and Z bosons, which mediate the weak force. If the Higgs boson exists, it is an integral and pervasive component of the material world.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, which became operational on November 20, 2009, is expected to provide experimental evidence of the existence or non-existence of the Higgs boson. Experiments at Fermilab also continue previous attempts at detection, albeit hindered by the lower energy of the Fermilab Tevatron accelerator.
It has been reported that Fermilab physicists suggest that the odds of Tevatron detecting the Higgs boson are between 50% and 96%, depending on its mass.
The Higgs mechanism, which gives mass to vector bosons, was theorized in 1964 by François Englert and Robert Brout ("boson scalaire"); in October of the same year by Peter Higgs, working from the ideas of Philip Anderson; and independently by Gerald Guralnik, C. R. Hagen, and Tom Kibble,who worked out the results by the spring of 1963.
The three papers written on this discovery by Guralnik, Hagen, Kibble, Higgs, Brout, and Englert were each recognized as milestone papers during Physical Review Letters 50th anniversary celebration. While each of these famous papers took similar approaches, the contributions and differences between the 1964 PRL Symmetry Breaking papers is noteworthy.
These six physicists were also awarded the 2010 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics for this work. Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam were the first to apply the Higgs mechanism to the electroweak symmetry breaking. The electroweak theory predicts a neutral particle whose mass is not far from that of the W and Z bosons.
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