Ten years of Large Hadron Collider discoveries are just the start of decoding the universe

This item is excerpted from this article at theconversation.com.

The most significant discovery to come from the LHC so far is the discovery of the Higgs boson, sometimes refered to as the ‘God particle, on July 4, 2012. The Higgs boson was the last remaining piece of what we call the standard model of particle physics. This theory covers all of the known fundamental particles — 17 of them — and three of the four forces through which they interact, although gravity is not yet included. The standard model is an incredibly well-tested theory. Two of the six scientists who developed the part of the standard model that predicts the Higgs boson won the Nobel Prize in 2013.

There is still lots to be understood. There are a number of questions that the standard model does not answer. For example, studies of galaxies and other large-scale structures in the universe indicate that there is a lot more matter out there than we observe. We call this dark matter since we can’t see it. The most common explanation to date is that dark matter is made of an unknown particle. Physicists hope that the LHC may be able to produce this mystery particle and study it. That would be an amazing discovery.

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