Scientists Discover Particle Consistent with Elusive Higgs Boson

Posted July 4th, 2012 at 5:05 am (UTC-5)
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Scientists at the world's largest atom collider say they have discovered a subatomic particle that resembles an elusive unproven piece of the standard model of physics.

Two independent teams working at the European Center for Nuclear Research said Wednesday they have observed a particle of the same type as the theoretical Higgs boson, which is also referred to as the “God particle.”

It is thought to form the Higgs field, an invisible energy believed to confer mass on all other atomic particles – a key quality that affects the interaction of all matter in the universe.

The scientists described the evidence as strong, but said the results are preliminary pending the analysis of more data.

CERN said in a statement that the results are expected to be published later this month and “a more complete picture” of the findings will come later this year after more experiments.

Scientists have been using CERN's Large Hadron Collider, located near Geneva, to slam streams of subatomic particles together at high speeds and examine the particles created in the collisions.

Proof of the Higgs boson would confirm a key principle in the standard model of modern physics, which explains how everything in the universe is made from 12 basic building blocks.

Earlier this week, physicists from the U.S. Department of Energy's now-idle Tevatron collier presented data suggesting the existence of the Higgs boson. A spokesman said that data pointed to the existence of the particle, but that the CERN experiments would be needed to establish a discovery.