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Canadians Key Part of Historical Science Breakthrough
(Vancouver, BC) --- Early this morning, the ATLAS and CMS particle-physics experiments at the LHC accelerator at CERN presented their latest results in the hunt for the Higgs boson with thousands of viewers from around the world at a global press conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Both experiments observe a new particle in the mass region around 125-126 GeV consistent with the Higgs. Across Canada, hundreds have played critical roles in this breakthrough and are now celebrating.
"We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage," said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti, "but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication." Five sigma corresponds to a certainty that the odds are less one in 3.5 million that this observation is simply produced by chance.
More than a 150 Canadian scientists and students are involved in the global ATLAS experiment at CERN. TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, has been a focal point for much of the Canadian involvement that has ranged from assisting with the construction of the LHC accelerator to building key elements of the ATLAS detector and hosting one of the ten global Tier-1 Data Centres that stores and processes the physics data for the team of thous