April 23, 2011
A rumor is floating around the physics community that the world’s largest atom smasher may have detected a long-sought subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, also known as the “God particle.”
The controversial rumor is based on what appears to be a leaked internal note from physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 17-mile-long particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland. It’s not entirely clear at this point if the memo is authentic, or what the data it refers to might mean — but the note already has researchers talking.
The buzz started when an anonymous commenter recently posted an abstract of the note on Columbia University mathematician Peter Woit’s blog, Not Even Wrong.