- Psychology & the public
- What we do
- Member networks
- Careers, education & training
The joy of discovery: Finding the Higgs boson
There were scenes of great joy at Cern (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) after scientists reporting from the Large Hadron Collider announced a significant breakthrough. After a 45-year investigation to try and explain how matter attains its mass, applause and cheering broke out when it was announced a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson had been discovered.
Although more work is needed to say the particle is a Higgs - the one thought to hold the universe together - with certainty, the experiments found the data was worthy of being deemed a discovery.
Professor Peter Higgs congratulated everybody involved in the process, saying: "It's really an incredible thing that it's happened in my lifetime."
Chartered Psychologist Dr Nick Baylis commented: "Professor Higgs and his colleagues at Cern will have known great joy and hardship in their Boson-hunting adventure these past 45 years.
"Their moment of stillness and calm satisfaction will be a brief oasis ... an eye of the storm. Such keenly exploratory spirits are by their nature hungry for uncharted waters and will continue to be so.
"Each venerable scientist will most likely wake tomorrow like restless Ulysses in Lord Tennyson's poem: This grey spirit yearning in desire, to follow knowledge like a sinking star, beyond the utmost bound of human thought."