God particle follows world’s top space scientists to Mysore
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The Higgs boson, the last remaining piece in the standard model of physics, was not on the official agenda for a weeklong scientific meeting of the world's top space scientists in Mysore but has now found its way into the discussions, a pointer to the excitement it has sparked among scientists after its possible discovery.
CERN's announcement that scientists may have found what gives the universe its present form has elevated the scope of discussions at the meeting of the Committee on Space Research (Cospar), featuring top space scientists from 70 countries, and being held in India after a gap of 32 years.
The Higgs boson, the Higgs field and the substance of the universe have emerged alongside traditional science subjects like space-based studies of the earth, the solar system and key topics at the 39th Cospar meeting.
"The spectacular announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson — the God particle — just two weeks ago is indeed a very important moment," said former ISRO chairman Prof U R Rao, chairman of the local organising committee for the week-long event.
"Significant discoveries in the last two years on climate change, sun energy, planetary exploration and cosmology and the missing mass in the universe are absolutely fantastic and will no doubt be discussed in this conference,'' Rao said.
Dr Giovanni F Bignami, chairman of the European Space Agency's advisory council and the current president of COSPAR, said the discovery was significant to space research. "The focus of the scientific assembly of COSPAR is inevitably in stimulating results and new data," Prof Bignami said. "It is appropriate and exciting that we meet here less than two weeks after the long awaited discovery of the Higgs boson. Even more exciting for us today and for me as a physicist is the possibility that its confirmation and its astrophysical consequences may come from space research."
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