New data narrows hunt for 'God particle'
Tuesday 13 December 2011
Researchers hunting for an elusive sub-atomic particle believed to be a basic building block of the universe announced today that they have narrowed down the search thanks to the latest data.
The Higgs boson — popularly referred to as the "God particle" — is more likely to be found in the lower mass or energy ranges of the massive atom smasher being used to track it down, researchers from two independent teams said.
The unveiling of the latest data has generated much buzz among researchers who hope that the particle, if it exists, can help explain many mysteries of the universe. British physicist Peter Higgs and others theorized the particle's existence more than 40 years ago to explain why atoms, and everything else in the universe, have weight.
Both of the research teams are involved with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva. CERN oversees the $10 billion (£6.4 bn) Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss-French border, a 17-mile (27-kilometer) tunnel where high energy beams of protons are sent crashing into each other at incredible speeds.
Fabiola Gianotti, an Italian physicist who heads the team running what's called the ATLAS experiment, said "the hottest region" is in lower energy ranges of the collider. She said there are indications of the Higgs' existence and that with enough data it could be unambiguously discovered or ruled out next year.
Several mass or energy ranges within the atom smasher are now excluded to a "95 percent confidence level," Gianotti told other physicists at CERN.
Afterward, Guido Tonelli, lead physicist for the team running what's called the CMS experiment, outlined findings similar to those of the ATLAS team, saying the particle is most likely found "in the low mass region" of the collider.
Although it would be an enormous scientific breakthrough for the physics world if the Higgs boson was found, officials at CERN have ruled out making any such announcement this year.
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to be published
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...