Researchers at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, reported earlier this week they are getting closer to discovering the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that scientists believe will explain why everything in the universe has mass. The Higgs boson is considered to be the “Holy Grail” of particle physics, and finding it would be one of the greatest scientific advancements in decades.

The research team at CERN includes Northeastern University graduate student David Nash, undergraduate co-op student Edward Vaisman and post-doctoral researcher Daniele Trocino. Northeastern physics professors George Alverson, Emanuela Barberis and Darien Wood are also involved in the project, along with other graduate students and post-doctoral associates. We asked Barberis, associate professor of physics, to explain the Higgs boson and what its discovery would mean to the world’s scientific community. More