Physicists on Higgs hunt 'nearly there', but not yet

Last updated 07:52 07/03/2013
Higgs boson
CMS

A diagram showing proton-proton collision in the CMS experiment producing four high-energy muons (red lines). The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of a Higgs boson.

Higgs boson explained by cartoon

Large Hadron Collider LHC
Reuters
OF THIS WORLD: The Super Proton Synchrotron at the Cern particle research centre in Geneva was the machine used to smash particles together to discover the Higgs boson.

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Physicists in Italy say they are closer to concluding that what they found last year was the elusive "God particle". But they still haven't reached that "Eureka moment" when they can announce the Higgs boson is found.

The long theorised subatomic particle would explain why matter has mass and has been called a missing cornerstone of physics.

Last July scientists with the world's largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, announced finding a particle they described as Higgs-like. Since then, confirmation has been sought.

Physicists gave an update of their work Wednesday at a conference in the Italian Alps. They are trying to be sure that the particle that was found has no spin, essential for Higgs confirmation. The new analysis shows scientists are close but not there yet.

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