Joe Incandela, a spokesman for CMS, one of the two independent teams looking for the particle, said: “We’ve observed a new particle.

“To ascertain its properties is still going to take some time.

“It may in the end be one of the biggest discoveries of any new phenomena in our field for the last 30 or 40 years.”

The Higgs boson is the elusive building block necessary to complete the Standard Model of particle physics.

Professor Brian Cox, tweeting from the events said: “So, in very simple language, ATLAS [the other independent team looking for the Higgs boson] and CMS have independently discovered a new particle, mass 125 GeV, which behaves like the SM Higgs”

The CMS team said that by they have achieved a ‘five-sigma’ discovery, amounting to a 1 in 3.5m chance that the signal would appear without the Higgs particle.

“We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of five sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV,” said Fabiola Gianotti, spokeswoman for the Atlas experiment at the LHC.

A video announcing the discovery of the Higgs was accidentally placed on a CERN website ahead of the announcement.

The Higgs field ‘switched on’ billionths of a second after the Big Bang, and interacts with certain particles to give them mass, by creating a form of traction with the field, while other particles, such as photons do not appear to interact with it.

Fears were stoked before the switching on of the LHC that a small black hole could be created.

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