Physics heavies, including Peter Higgs, invited to CERN press conference on Wednesday, leading to widespread excitement that the Higgs Boson has been definitively discovered

Rob Cooper in the Daily Mail:

ScreenHunter_10 Jul. 02 14.05Peter Higgs, the Edinburgh University emeritus professor of physics that the particle is named after, is among those who have been called to the press conference in Switzerland.

The management at Cern want the two teams of scientists to reach the 'five sigma' level of certainty with their results – so they are 99.99995 per cent sure – such is the significance of the results.

Tom Kibble, 79, the emeritus professor of physics at Imperial College London, has also been invited but is unable to attend.

He told the Sunday Times: 'My guess is that is must be a pretty positive result for them to be asking us out there.'

The Higgs boson is regarded as the key to understanding the universe. Physicists say its job is to give the particles that make up atoms their mass.

Without this mass, these particles would zip though the cosmos at the speed of light, unable to bind together to form the atoms that make up everything in the universe, from planets to people.

The collider, housed in an 18-mile tunnel buried deep underground near the French-Swiss border, smashes beams of protons – sub-atomic particles – together at close to the speed of light, recreating the conditions that existed a fraction of a second after the Big Bang.

If the physicists’ theory is correct, a few Higgs bosons should be created in every trillion collisions, before rapidly decaying.

More here. More about the Higgs here, here, and here.