The physics of the fundamental particles of matter and the forces between them is described by a theory called the ‘Standard Model’, which finds its origins in the theory of electricity and magnetism developed by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell while he was working at King’s 150 years ago. One of the biggest puzzles in this Standard Model is the difference between electricity and magnetism, on the one hand, and the weak force responsible for radioactivity.
A possible solution to this puzzle was proposed in 1964 by Peter Higgs, a former King’s physics student. According to his theory, there should exist a particle called the Higgs boson that gives masses to elementary particles, permitting radioactivity to be weak and atoms to exist. This particle has never been seen, and its discovery would complete the Standard Model, enabling it to describe all the visible matter in the Universe. The search for the Higgs boson is one of the main objectives of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project at CERN