OMG science gossip! Rumors are circulating that the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois has found the elusive Higgs Boson (nicknamed the "God Particle"). Does this mean we finally finished science?
The discovery of the Higgs Boson, which in theory explains the existence of mass in the universe, would be a Big Deal for physicists. It's the only particle predicted by the standard model of particle physics that hasn't been found yet, and if it can be proven to exist, it would confirm the model—and conversely, if it's proven to be nonexistent, it would mean new models would need to be explored.
Tommaso Dorigo, an Italian physicist at the University of Padua, is shamelessly rumormongering on his blog (our kinda guy) and claiming that he's heard from two different sources that the Fermi lab is going to "release some evidence of a light Higgs Boson signal." According to Dorigo, one rumor is of a "three-sigma" Higgs Boson effect (i.e., a 99.7% certainty that the Higgs has been discovered), while the other just speaks of an "unexpected result." Dorigo does some science to explore the credibility of the rumors on his blog, but, as he says, "Too much work - while wild speculation is more fun!"
If the rumor is true—and that's a big "if"—it'd probably the final hurrah for the Fermi lab, which will be retired when the larger, more advanced CERN accelerator in Geneva gets going.