It is also called the "missing cornerstone of physics."
The Higgs boson, nicknamed The God Particle, made an element of physics elusive for decades - why all matter has mass. It may also help explain how the universe began.
First proposed as a theory in the 1960s, had the elusive Higgs Maddeningly was chased by at least two generations of physicists who believed it would help to shape our understanding of how the universe is the most basic pieces fit together.
Given the highly technical findings were announced by two independent teams with more than 5,000 researchers, the usually quiet corridors of the European Centre for Nuclear Research, or CERN, burst into frequent applause and standing ovations. Physicists their careers in pursuit of the particles shed tears.
The new particle appears to share many of the same qualities as those predicted by the Scottish physicist Peter Higgs and others and is perhaps the greatest achievement in the CERN Founded in 1954 outside Geneva along the Swiss-French border.
Rolf Heuer, CERN's director, said the newly discovered particle is a boson, but he stopped just shy of claiming outright that the Higgs boson itself - a very fine distinction.
"As a layman, I think we did," he told the exuberant crowd. "We have a discovery. We have a new particle that is consistent with an observed Higgs boson."
The Higgs, which until now was purely theoretical, is considered the key to understanding why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give weight to all objects.
The idea is just like gravity and early theories of Isaac Newton. Gravity was there the whole time before Newton explained. The Higgs boson was supposed to be there, too. And now that scientists have actually seen something very like it, they can make that knowledge to further use.
The center atom chattering, the $ 10 billion Large Hadron Collider will send protons whizzing around a round of 27 kilometers (17-mile) underground tunnel at nearly the speed of light to create high-energy collisions. The aftermath of these effects may provide clues about dark matter, antimatter and the creation of the universe, which many theorize was in a tremendous explosion known as the Big Bang.
Most of the particles that result from the existence collisions only the smallest fraction of a second. But finding the Higgs boson-like was one of the biggest challenges in physics: Of the approximately 500 trillion collisions, just a few dozen produced "events" with important data, said Joe Inca Dela from the University of California at Santa Barbara, leader of the team known as CMS with 2100 scientists.
Each of the teams confirmed Wednesday that they "observed" a new subatomic particle - a boson. Heuer said the discovery was "probably a Higgs boson, but we need to find out what kind of Higgs boson is." He referred to the discovery as a missing cornerstone of science.
If the leaders of the two teams presented their evidence, applause interrupted their conversation.
"Thank you, nature!" joked Fabiola Gianotti, the Italian physicist who heads the team named ATLAS, with 3,000 scientists, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Later she told reporters that the standard model of physics is still incomplete, because "the dream is to find an ultimate theory that explains everything. We are far from it."
Inca Dela said it was too early to definitively say whether the particle is exactly the same as that envisaged by the Higgs and others, suggested the existence of energy where all particles interact with a key particle, the Higgs boson.
Higgs, who was invited to the public, said Wednesday the discovery appears to be near what he predicted.
"It's an incredible thing that has happened in my life," he said, calling the discovery a tremendous achievement for the proton-smashing collider.
Outside CERN, the announcement seemed to ricochet around the world with some of the speed and energy of the particle itself.
In an interview with the BBC, the world's most famous physicist Stephen Hawking, Higgs said deserved a Nobel Prize. Hawking said he placed a bet with another scientist that the Higgs boson would never be found.
"It seems that I lost only $ 100," he said.
Marc Sher, a professor of physics at William & Mary College, said that most observers concluded in December that the Higgs boson would soon be discovered, but he was "still a bit surprised about the results."
The term "God particle" was coined by Nobel laureate physicist Leon Lederman, but it is mainly used by laypersons as a simpler way of explaining the theory.
Wednesday party was mainly for researchers who are exploring the deepest, most esoteric levels of particle science. But the particle-hunting effort has paid off in a different way for non-scientists, including contributions to the development of the World Wide Web.
CERN scientists used the beginning of the web to exchange information, and the enormous computing power required for all information submitted by the atom chattering crack also boosted the development of cloud computing, now make its way into mainstream services.
Advances in solar energy, medical imaging and proton therapy in the fight against cancer, the result of the work of particle physicists at CERN and elsewhere.
The last undiscovered piece of the standard model of physics would be a variant of the Higgs predicted that or anything else that completely changes the way scientists think about how matter is formed, Inca Dela said.
"This boson is a very in depth what we found," he said. "We are into the fabric of the universe in ways we never have done before. We have sort of a rounded particle story .... Now we are away on the edge of exploration."
The discovery is so fundamental to the laws of nature, Inca Delafield said it would be a new era of technology and development in the same way as Newton's laws of gravity has led to fundamental equations of mechanics that made the industrial revolution is possible to spawn.
"This is so far out on a limb, I have no idea where it will be applied," he added. "We're talking about something we have no idea what the implications are and may not be directly used for centuries."