Nature of science - 3.6

Although scientists cannot ever be certain that a result or finding is correct, we know that some scientific results are very close to certainty. Scientists often speak of “levels of confidence” when discussing outcomes. The discovery of the existence of a Higgs boson is such an example of a “level of confidence”. This particle may never be directly observable, but to establish its “existence” particle physicists had to pass the self-imposed definition of what can be regarded as a discovery—the 5-sigma “level of certainty”—or about a 0.00003% chance that the effect is not real based on experimental evidence.