Definitive statement on Higgs boson “God particle” may come in March

December 23, 2012

(A computer screen is pictured before a scientific seminar to deliver the latest update in the search for the Higgs boson at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin, near Geneva July 4, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

Scientists at Europe’s CERN research center say they may be able to definitively announce at a conference next March that they had discovered the elusive Higgs boson.

But they dismissed suggestions circulating widely on blogs and even in some science journals that instead of just one type of the elementary particle they might have found a pair.

CERN researchers said in July they had found what appeared to be the particle that gives mass to matter, as imagined and named half a century ago by theoretical physicist Peter Higgs. But they stopped short of saying for sure it was the Higgs boson, dubbed the “God particle” for its role in turning the Big Bang into a living universe, pending further research.

“The latest data we have on this thing we have been watching for the past few months show that it is not simply ‘like a Higgs’ but is very like a Higgs,” said Oliver Buechmuller of the CMS team at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

“The way things are going, by the Moriond meeting we may be able to stop calling it Higgs-like and finally say it is the Higgs,” he told Reuters, referring to the annual gathering which will take place at the Italian Alpine resort of La Thuile, 120 kilometers (75 miles) from CERN, on March 2-9.

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