Dubbed the ‘God Particle’, the Higgs boson is hugely significant as it represents the missing link in the Standard Model - the theory that describes all the matter, forces and interactions that make up the universe.
There is subsequently intense excitement around the discovery at the LHC, and with resident scientists all but certain of the breakthrough - an announcement from the lab is expected soon.
The £6.4bn LHC (right), which took over a decade to assemble, is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator and was charged with discovering the Higgs boson. Its existence would help explain why all the particles in the world are the way they are, as the Higgs belongs to a larger particle family that provides the elementary building blocks for everything in the universe.
Signalling the apparent end to decades of searching for physics’ coveted prize, Professor John Womersley, chief executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council told reporters at a briefing in London, “They have discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson.
"Discovery is the important word. That is confirmed. It's a momentous day for science."
The Higgs’ existence has been predicted for some time but had it remained undiscovered, our current theories explaining the universe’s physical composition would effectively have to be ripped up and started afresh. Hence anticipation is sky-high as scientific circles await further news on the breakthrough.
Image credit: CERN