The search for the 'God particle,' a subatomic particle believed to give all matter size and shape, is nearing its end, scientists are expected to say Tuesday. Representatives from the physics community, who gathered on the morning of July 4 to hear new data on the search for this most elusive particle, will release their findings soon.
For years physicists have sought the particle, known as Higgs boson, to help understand why items in the universe carry mass. According to Joe Lykken at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, this particle could be the foundational element of matter.
"Our former director, Leon Lederman, called the Higgs particle the 'God particle,' " Lykken says. "It was not meant to be a religious comment; it was meant to express our understanding of how the universe works. We think without a Higgs boson, you can't have a universe in the first place."
Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider on the French/Swiss border, called CERN, announced they had discovered new evidence of the 'God particle' in December and are coming ever closer to proving definitively the existence of the Higgs particle.
The results to be announced by CERN scientists are based on 10 years of gathering and analyzing data produced by the Department of Energy's Tevatron collider, scientists from the Collider Detector at Fermilab and DZero Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
"Squeezing the last bit of information out of 500 trillion collisions produced by the Tevatron for each experiment since March 2001, the final analysis of the data does not settle the question of whether the Higgs particle exists, but gets closer to an answer," a Fermilab statement released July 2 read.
"We think the Higgs boson is a manifestation of the fact that the universe is filled with a force that we haven't been able to detect yet that gives other particles mass," Lykken said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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