The Higgs boson, the hypothesized “God particle,” is, according to the Standard Model of physics, why there is mass in the universe. And, in the Los Angeles Times today, physicist Robert Cousins offers a super-clear explanation for why scientists are working so hard at the Large Hadron Collider (LHE) in Switzerland to confirm its existence:
The Standard Model is this big picture that’s been developed over decades. It says that the smallest objects are quarks and leptons, and it includes the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces. It says that every force has a particle, called a quantum, associated with it. This goes back to Einstein. The first quantum of a force was the photon, which is the quantum of the electromagnetic force.
The whole picture is tied together with many precision measurements. These show that there is one undetected energy field called the Higgs field. It has a quantum associated with it: the Higgs boson. It’s the last piece of the Standard Model that has not been discovered.