Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider are expected to announce today they have the seen the "holy grail" of the physics world, the Higgs boson.
Excitement has grown since the news that there will be an announcement at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, that scientists have seen evidence of its existence, if not definite proof.
Higgs Boson, also known as the 'God particle', is a theoretical particle described as a 'building block' in standard model used in physics to describe how particles and atoms are made up.
Before the announcement is made on Tuesday, here are 10 facts about the elusive particle that has baffled scientists for decades:
- Two teams at the LHC have collided 350 trillion protons this year in the hope to see the Higgs boson, with apparently only 10 or so producing a reliable candidate for the Higgs boson.
- The Higgs boson is named after particle physicist Peter Higgs, who proposed the idea of the particle in 1964.
- The theory has it that as the universe cooled after the Big Bang, an invisible force known as the Higgs field formed. Particles then gain their mass bypassing through this field.
- The nickname 'God particle' was given to it because without it, the rest of physics cannot be explained according to the "Standard Model."
- Professor Stephen Hawking once placed a $100 bet that the particle did not exist.
- Its existence would help to explain why particles have mass and - on a more basic level -why heavy things are harder to push.
- The Large Hadron Collidor (LHC), the particle-accelerating machine being used to discover the Higgs Boson, cost over £6 billion to make.
- When the Large Hadron Collider's was switched on in 2008, there were fears that it might create a black hole that would swallow the Earth. It didn't.
- The Large Electron Positron (LEP) collider was CERN's flagship accelerator from 1989 to 2000, but closed after failing to find the Higgs boson.
- If it exists, the Higgs boson is most likely to have a mass somewhere between 114 and 141GeV (gigaelectronvolts), where one GeV is roughly equivalent to the mass of a proton.