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What is a Higgs Boson?

Today, CERN the laboratory behind the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is set to make an announcement about the discovery, or not as the case may be, of the so-called “God Particle”, the elementary particle formed just after the Big Bang, almost 14 billion years ago that is posited to give all other particles the property we know as mass.

Here’s a snippet from the CERN press release on today’s announcement. I’m paraphrasing, of course:

“A seminar will be held blah blah on 13 December blah blah sufficient blah blah to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on its existence or non-existence…blah blah blah blah… ”

It’s that phrase “not enough to make any conclusive statement”, that gets me. In other words, after more than two years of activity (not counting the 2008 false start) and terabytes of data generation, they’re confident in telling the world that they have a hint of a possible tentative suggesion of an inference of a sneaking suspicion that the Higgs Boson might putatively exist…or not.

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