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What is the most significant experimental discovery in particle physics?

By James Dacey

So the excited researchers at CERN have finally found the Higgs boson, or at least a particle that resembles the Higgs. With these scientists now preparing for a blitzkrieg of further analysis, it may turn out that their Higgs possesses properties that cannot be explained by the Standard Model of particle physics alone. But, as the CERN director-general said during a press conference yesterday, “I think we have it.”

Yesterday was a truly great day for science. But just how significant is this discovery in the history of particle physics? Let us know your thoughts by answering this week’s Facebook poll question.

What is the most significant experimental discovery in particle physics?

hands smll.jpg

The electron
The atomic nucleus
The neutron
The Higgs boson

Let us know by taking part in the poll. And of course, as this list does not cover all the discoveries in particle physics, feel free to make a case for a something else.

In last week’s poll we encouraged you to join us in speculating whether CERN was about to announce the discovery of the Higgs boson. The signs were there that the LHC data had thrown up something large – journalists were invited from around the world to attend a special seminar in Geneva on the eve of this year’s major particle-physics conference in Australia.

59% of respondents had put two and two together and predicted that CERN officials would be revealing the discovery of the Higgs boson. The remaining 41% thought that they would not be making this announcement, perhaps assuming that we would have to wait longer or that the scientists would declaring that the particle does not exist after all.

Thanks to everyone for taking part and we look forward to hearing from you in this week’s poll.

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