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'Higgs boson' professors come to European Parliament

27 November 2012

It was predicted 45 years ago, but it was only earlier this year that the existence of the ‘Higgs Boson’ could finally be proven. Today Professor Higgs and Professor Englert, two of the men who first predicted the boson, were invited to the European Parliament for the 25th anniversary of STOA, the organisation that gives scientific advice to European policy makers. Professor Higgs told those assembled at the European Parliament that finding the sub-atomic particle was just the beginning: “The discovery of this particle is potentially the beginning of another road which is to explore the physics of what lies beyond the standard model perhaps the machine will have to run at much higher energies before the others are discovered if indeed they exist.” The boson, discovered at the CERN laboratory near Geneva in July 2012, helps explain how particles aquire mass. Professor Englert is concerned that at a time of economic crisis, money won’t be found to progress the research: “If we don’t subsidize a long term financial commitment to take forward this fundemental research, we carry a real risk of doing nothing more than applied research which is just a copy of what others are doing.” Scientists now want to know what makes up the other 95 percent of the universe composed of dark matter and dark energy. They hope that finding the boson, will give clues as to where to look next. Rolf Heuer, Director General of CERN said: “It took us fifty years to complete the understanding of the five per cent and now we have to go much further so at the moment we have a complete program till around 2030 with this machine to explore whatever we can into the dark universe.”