Geneva, July 4 (IANS) Scientists at CERN, or the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Wednesday announced they have found a new particle that they say could be the Higgs boson.
The particle has been the subject of a 45-year hunt for explaining how matter attains its mass, and is consistent with the Higgs boson.
The discovery was claimed by scientists reporting from Large Hadron Collider (LHC), an international project in which Britain has a leading role. The LHC has been engaged in finding how the universe that we live in started with a Big Bang.
According to BBC, both ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Higgs boson-hunting at CERN see a level of certainty in their data worthy of a "discovery".
More work will be needed to be certain that what they see is a Higgs, however.
The results announced at CERN, home of the LHC in Geneva, were met with loud applause and cheering.
Peter Higgs, after whom the particle is named, wiped a tear from his eye as the teams finished their presentations in the CERN auditorium.
"I would like to add my congratulations to everyone involved in this achievement," Higgs added later.
"It's really an incredible thing that it's happened in my lifetime."
The CMS team claimed to have seen a "bump" in their data corresponding to a particle weighing in at 125.3 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) - about 133 times heavier than the proton at the heart of every atom.
They claimed that by combining two data sets, they had attained a confidence level just at the "five-sigma" point - about a one-in-3.5 million chance that the signal they see would appear if there were no Higgs particle.
However, a full combination of the CMS data brings that number just back to 4.9 sigma - a one-in-2 million chance.
Six theoreticians, including the English physicist Peter Higgs, first proposed the Higgs mechanism in 1964. The sub-atomic particle is believed to be at the base of all mass, the basic building block of the universe.