While it hasn’t even been a year since CERN announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson-like particle—making headlines across the world—the director of The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, Dr Rolf-Dieter Heuer, who was in the city on Saturday, isn’t sitting on laurels, saying that there is still more work to be done and it was time to start understanding the parts of the universe that still remain a mystery to scientists.
The Higgs Boson particle, also known as the God Particle, is an elusive particle whose discovery was announced in July last year. However, Heuer, who was at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to deliver a lecture, said this was just the beginning of the human understanding into the universe.
“We know quite a bit but we also know enough to know that there is more out there. Finding the Higgs Boson particle is like finding a special snowflake in a snowstorm,” he said, adding that the Large-Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest particle accelerator in the world present at CERN, is geared to do just that.
“Our entire understanding of the universe is about to change. We are at the first step to understanding dark energy. We are just at the beginning to explore 95% of the universe,” he added.
The LHC, which was shut down for maintenance and upgrade on Thursday, will be up and running again by 2015 and scientists during this time will also examine the data collected by the LHC so far, Heuer said.
‘Indian youth have potential’
When it comes to scientific research and output, Heuer remained extremely optimistic about Indian contribution. “We have more than 200 Indian scientists who visit CERN. In fact, I think the number of Indian scientists visiting CERN is more than the ones from China. And there are a lot of young people who are interested in this field. India has a rich history and bright future. And the present is quite good too!” he joked.
He also said that the media should play a more involved role in promoting science across the world. “It is the only truly universal language and there is already so much bad news in the media, so there should also be some constructive stories. Science should be front-page news,” he added.