Cern scientists home in on Higgs boson

Scientists at the Cern physics research centre outside Geneva have found signs of – although not yet conclusively discovered – the Higgs boson.

This content was published on December 13, 2011 - 15:36 and agencies

One of two research teams searching for the elusive sub-atomic particle, the missing link in the Standard Model of physics, announced on Tuesday that new data show it is more likely to be found in the lower energy ranges of the massive atom smasher being used to track it down.

The discovery – confirmed later on Tuesday by a second research team – helps narrow the search for the Higgs boson, a theoretical particle that researchers hope can explain many mysteries of the universe.

British physicist Peter Higgs theorised 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. Cern oversees the $10 billion (SFr9.4 billion) Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss-French border, a 27-kilometre tunnel where high energy beams of protons are sent crashing into each other at incredible speeds.

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