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A discovery at the European Organization for National Research in Geneva, Switzerland could go a long way in the field of physics.
"This is a big announcement, but the observation and confirmation of the Higgs boson will probably be one of the 10 most important scientific accomplishments of the century," said Tim Bolton, Kansas State University physics professor, in a news release.
Scientists identified the Higgs boson particle on July 4. The discovery may help define why matter has mass. The particle, hypothesized more than 50 years ago, gives subatomic particles such as quarks and electrons mass.
The Higgs boson is commonly referred to as the "God particle" because of its potential to help explain the creation of the universe.
However, Bolton cautions that the particle has not been completely proven yet.
"We have a rule in our field: Before we allow ourselves to definitively say that we've discovered the Higgs boson, we have to convince ourselves that the chances of our findings being caused by a statistical fluke is less than one in three million," Bolton said.
Bolton is one of three KSU faculty members involved in the international project, along with several other institutions.