Researchers working at CERN, world's largest atom smasher in Geneva have found tantalizing hints of the tiny, elemental bit of matter that has been labeled "the brick that built the universe" and "the god particle" -- but stopped short of announcing the discovery of the tiny particle.
The ‘God particle’, hailed as the holy grail of physics, may have been glimpsed for the first time. Excited scientists at the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s biggest atom smasher – are expected to announce today that they have spotted the Higgs boson particle. While they will not claim definitive proof, they are tipped to reveal tantalising evidence of the particle’s existence. Theoretical physicist and blogger Sascha Vongehr said: ‘The anticipation among physics enthusiasts is almost palpable.’ The Higgs boson is regarded – by those who know about such things – as the key to understanding the universe. Its job is, apparently, to give the particles that make up atoms their mass. Without this mass, these particles would zip though the cosmos at the speed of light, unable to bind together to form the atoms that make up everything in the universe, from planets to people.
Now it is thought that two separate teams of scientists, who run independent experiments in secret from each other, have both uncovered evidence of the particle. However, the two groups, CMS and ATLAS, are expected to stop short of confirming its existence. This is because they are not entirely confident that their results cannot be explained by chance. Oliver Buchmueller, of the CMS group, said: ‘I am feeling quite a level of excitement.’ He added that if the ATLAS results mirrored those of his group, then ‘we’re moving very close to a conclusion in the first few months of next year’. Tara Shears, a particle physicist at Liverpool University, said that ‘we need [Higgs boson] to make sense of the universe’. But CMS scientist Bruce Kennedy, of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, said: ‘If the Higgs is found, it will only be the start. ‘We will have to understand its properties and if it fits in correctly with our theoretical explanations.’ - Daily Mail.