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Large Hadron Collider, Higgs Boson

European Organization for Nuclear Research/Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN), Large Hadron Collider, Higgs Boson, 2011

European Organization for Nuclear Research/Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN)
Large Hadron Collider
Higgs Boson
2012
digital file
photo courtesy of CERN, © 2020 CERN

The Large Hadron Collider accelerates particles nearly to the speed of light, then smashes them together releasing even smaller sub-atomic particles. The collider is a 17-mile long machine filling an underground circular tunnel beneath the border between France and Switzerland. In order to collect huge amounts of data to test the Standard Model of particles and forces, the Hadron Collider generates about 1 billion particle collisions per second.

Bosons are one category in the standard model of sub-atomic particles. In 1964 physicist Peter Higgs along with five colleagues proposed the mechanism in order to explain why particles have mass. The Higgs mechanism predicted that a matching particle, the “Higgs boson” should exist. It took more than 48 years of experimentation before this image proved their theory correct. The Higgs Boson is a particle, but it can also function as conceptual art in the context of this exhibition.