TAMPA - For most of us, the only particles we search for are usually labeled 'salt' and 'pepper'.
But scientists around the world and here in Florida are celebrating the discovery of a subatomic element so fundamental to our understanding of the universe- it's known as the "God particle".
When the discovery broke in Geneva, scientists around the world stood and cheered including a team of about 40 scientists out of the University of Florida.
"It's very emotional. Remember, this is the biggest thing to come out of the field in I don't know how many years- probably the 1960's said Professor Paul Avery of U.F.
Avery and Professor Konstantin Matchev were key to the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle found by observing and recording the collision of protons in a giant superconducting supercollider.
Physicist Michio Kaku explained the process to ABC News.
"When these two beams of protons collide there's a fantastic spray of subatomic particles. Then we run the videotape backwards to find out what particle existed at the very instant of the collision" said Kaku.
The discovery provides a framework of understanding for the 'big bang' theory of creation and explains why we can actually see and touch matter in the world.
"It's a new force of nature. Whether and when we're going to be able to tame that force and put it to work, I don't know. It may take years, it may take centuries but it's a very fundamental discovery" said Professor Matchev.
The University of Florida may see a surge in enrollment by students anxious to be on the leading edge of discovery. The finding puts the school on the map for something other than sports.
"It's nice to see people cheering for a physics result, not just at a football rally" said Avery.
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