What does the god particle do?

This particle helps give mass to all elementary particles that have mass, such as electrons and protons. A boson is a force-carrying particle that comes into play when particles interact with each other, and a boson is exchanged during this interaction. As scientists neared the end of the 20th century, advances in particle physics had answered many questions related to the fundamental components of nature. Finding this particle would give an idea of why certain particles have mass and would help develop later physics.

The mass of a particle determines how much it resists changing its velocity or position when it encounters a force. In addition, the investigation of this elusive particle will deepen during the third round of the LHC and, in particular, when the upgrade to the high luminosity of the particle accelerator is completed in 2029 (opens in a new tab). The more they interact, the heavier they become, while particles that never interact are left without any mass. Particles, such as protons, made up of quarks obtain most of their mass from the bonding energy that holds their components together.

For example, when two electrons interact, they exchange a photon, the particle that carries force in electromagnetic fields. However, as physicists populated the particle zoo with electrons, protons, bosons and all kinds of quarks, some pressing questions remained unanswered. CERN estimates that, after the update each year, the accelerator will create 15 million of these particles. However, for this unification to work mathematically, force-carrying particles are required to have no mass.

This is because the spontaneous rupture of symmetry does not occur with photons as does with their companion force-carrying particles, the W and Z bosons. The particle was detected both by the LHC ATLAS detector and by the Compact Muon Solenoid detector (CMS). For example, the photon, which is the particle of light that carries electromagnetic force, has no mass.

Keisha Tytler
Keisha Tytler

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