The CBC's science correspondent Bob McDonald says the discovery of a new particle that is "consistent with" the Higgs boson could help answer fundamental questions about the Big Bang.

"During the early universe, when it was first beginning, it was so hot that everything we know of today, the atoms, the electrons, the protons that we're made of could not exist," McDonald said.

"So Peter Higgs suggested that, 'well what if there was a particle that could only exist back then, and that is what gave rise to us?'"

If scientists are able to confirm that the new subatomic particle is indeed the Higgs boson, it would be a historic scientific finding.