Everything you need to know about the Large Hadron Collider

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The Higgs Boson and other discoveries made by the LHC

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Currently, we use the Standard Model of Particle Physics to explain how particle physics works. The Standard Model, which was formulated over the course of the 20th century by various scientists, has thus far remained consistent in explaining the parts of the universe directly observable to us — which is only about 5 percent of the universe. This leaves the remaining 95 percent of the universe unaccounted for in SM, including dark matter and dark energy, and any potential forces or interactions they exert.

Even the parts we can observe have some yet-unanswered questions. The standard model doesn’t even account for gravity and is incompatible with the theory of relativity. Clearly, we have a lot left to learn.

That’s where the LHC comes in. Thus far, LHC experiments confirmed the existence of the Higgs Boson, aka “The God Particle,” which was an important theoretical aspect of The Standard Model that never been observed until it was confirmed by a test at the LHC on July 4, 2012. The Higgs Boson is an elusive, high-mass particle which is the very thing that gives mass to all matter in the universe — basically, it’s what allows things to physically exist.

Other particles, such as the exotic hadrons X(3872), Z(4430), Zc(3900), and Y(4140), have also been observed in LHC tests, as well as a number of other potential elementary particles which have yet to be confirmed.

The discovery of the Higgs Boson was a major step forward for understanding the physical laws of the universe but it also gave rise to even more questions and problems. In fact, much of what the LHC has uncovered about particle physics leads to more questions than answers in general. So, researchers continue to use the LHC to blast particles together in hopes of finding some answers.

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