ON JULY 4th researchers at CERN, Europe's main particle-physics lab, confirmed their discovery of something that looks very much like the Higgs boson. The world's most sought-after particle is the mis...
sing piece of the Standard Model, the best theory available for how the universe works in all its aspects bar gravity (which is the province of Albert Einstein's general relativity). The model divides elementary particles into two classes. First, there are the fermions, a group comprising quarks (like those which make up protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei) and leptons (such as electrons that orbit these nuclei, and ghostly neutrinos). Then there are the bosons: gauge bosons, which carry forces of nature that allow the fermions to interact, and the Higgs boson, whose role is to endow the others with mass. The concept of the Higgs was introduced in 1964, so it has taken physicists 48 years to go from idea to observation. None of the model's 16 other particles was as elusive. Indeed, as our chart shows, the muon and the tau were discovered before anyone had predicted their existence. Both are leptons, heavier versions of the familiar electron, the first elementary particle to be observed, by J.J. Thomson, a Briton, in 1897. Though the notion of a unit of negative charge had been around since the 1830s, a firmer prediction was made in 1881 by a German scientist, Hermann von Helmholz. The positron, the electron's antimatter twin (not included in our chart, since in terms of the Standard Model, particles and their antiversions are two sides of a single coin) popped out of an equation in 1928; it popped up in an experiment four years later.
Never miss a thing with our weekly newsletter. We'll send you the latest and greatest infographics, news and all things Visually.
Go ahead, you can always opt out anytime with just one click.
Switch to Wordpress Code
Click bellow to copy
Get Notified of New Infographics
Thank you for subscribing to the Visually newsletter.
Just one last thing: we've sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription.
Tell your story visually before December 31st and get a free iPad Air!*
The holidays are a great time to tell your brand story. From Black Friday trends and Mobile Shopping guides to the Best and Worst Times to Book Travel and Thanksgiving etiquette, the Visually team will help you craft your brand's unique stories and raise your social profile during the noisy holiday season.