Dec 13, 2011

GENEVA – Scientists hunting for an elusive sub-atomic particle say they've found "intriguing hints" that it exists, narrowing down the search for what is believed to be a basic building block of the universe.

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, physicists from two independent research teams said Tuesday.

The researchers were careful to note they do not have enough data yet to definitively say the particle exists, but also said the latest data is strong enough that the question could be answered one way or another by next year.

Researchers 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.
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