Stereotypes of scientists as stern-faced and emotionless were tossed aside on Wednesday when physicists reacted with joy and tears to CERN's announcement about the Higgs Boson.
A new particle "consistent" with the long-sought boson has been found after a near half-century search.
Following is a selection of quotes following the announcement by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.
Peter Higgs, for whom the boson was named following his 1964 academic paper on the topic:
-- "I never expected this to happen in my lifetime and shall be asking my family to put some champagne in the fridge."
Gerald Guralnik, co-credited with developing the concept of the Higgs mechanism:
-- "It is very gratifying to realise that an idea and a theory that we worked on nearly 50 years ago has such huge relevance to actual physics."
"We knew that we had indeed done something that was very different and very exciting, but we still didn't expect it to have something to do with physical reality."
Peter Knight, president of Britain's Institute of Physics:
-- "This is the physics version of the discovery of DNA."
Science News, magazine of the Society for Science and the Public:
-- "For more than three decades, the Higgs has been physicists' version of King Arthur's Holy Grail, Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth, Captain Ahab's Moby Dick. It's been an obsession, a fixation, an addiction to an idea that almost every expert believed just had to be true."
Stefan Soldner-Rembold, professor of particle physics at the University of Manchester:
-- "Today we have witnessed a discovery which gives unique insight into our understanding of the universe and the origin of fundamental particles."
Yves Sirois who leads the French team at CERN's CMS experiment:
-- "I've been working in particle physics all my life and this is the most exciting moment of my career for sure."
Csaba Balazs of the Monash University's Centre for Particle Physics in Melbourne:
-- "Today, after 50 years of its theoretical introduction, we have learned that the Higgs boson probably exists. This is a tremendous step ahead in our fundamental understanding of unification and in realizing Einstein's dream" of unifying all physical laws in a single equation.
Geoff Taylor, director of the University of Melbourne's ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale:
-- "Physicists are not normally very effusive but we are at this time."
Politicians too, have weighed in:
British Prime Minister David Cameron:
-- "This is a great breakthrough, one that could be profoundly significant to our understanding of the universe and the fundamental laws that govern it."
German Research Minister Annette Schavan:
-- "The endurance and curiosity of researchers has been rewarded."
(c) 2012 AFP