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Notre Dame helps discover evidence of "God particle"

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame Professors and students were involved in a milestone physics announcement on Wednesday. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced its discovery of evidence of the Higgs boson, which is commonly known as the God particle.

Notre Dame has been involved with the research both on campus and abroad dating back to 1993.

Physics Professor Colin Jessop said this is a huge success for the physics world, but it should also matter to the everyday person.

He said the discovery is a type of "basic knowledge" research, and that the "application" for the discovery usually comes later.

Jessop said you can compare it to the discovery of quantum mechanics.

"This was discovered in the 1920’s, about 80 years ago, when it was discovered people said what use is that?" said Jessop.

"…But decades later we need quantum mechanics to make cell phones work, to make lasers work, to make all of modern electronics work," he added.

Jessop described the Higgs boson as part of particle physics which tries to explain the building blocks of the universe.

Notre Dame played an integral part of developing a transparent, lead brick for the project.

76,000 of the bricks are placed inside the particle accelerator used to capture the image of the Higgs boson.

The Physics Department said the entire Michiana community can take pride in this accomplishment. The department had an outreach program where local high school students got to help with the research.

While this is a great discovery, the department said this is only the beginning of the journey of this research.







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