God particle: Scientists 'close as you can get to a discovery without actually calling it one'
Evidence mounts for the discovery of the Higgs boson - but falls short
CERN's atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to help them understand suspected phenomena such as dark matter, antimatter and the creation of the universe billions of years ago.
Experts familiar with the research at CERN's vast complex on the Swiss-French border say that the massive data they have obtained shows the footprint of the key particle for the Higgs boson -but won't allow them to say it has actually seen.
"I agree that any reasonable outside observer would say, 'It looks like a discovery,'" British theoretical physicist John Ellis, a professor at King's College London told The Associated Press. "We've discovered something which is consistent with being a Higgs."
CERN's atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to help them understand suspected phenomena such as dark matter, antimatter and the creation of the universe billions of years ago. Many theorize occurred as a massive explosion known as "the Big Bang."
It must be duly noted that the discovery of the Higgs boson won't change people's lives but will explain the underpinnings of the universe, confirming the standard model of physics that explains why fundamental particles have mass, which is a trait that combines with gravity to give an object weight.
"Particle physicists have a very high standard for what it takes to be a discovery," Rob Roser, who leads the search for the Higgs boson at the Fermilab in Chicago, says.
Rosen gave an analogy using the fossilized imprint of a dinosaur: "You see the footprints and the shadow of the object, but you don't actually see it."
The Higgs boson previously has been a concept intended to explain a riddle: How were the subatomic particles, such as electrons, protons and neutrons, themselves formed? What gives them their mass?
As first proposed by physicist Peter Higgs and others in the Sixties, the boson envisioned an energy field where particles interact with a key particle, the Higgs boson.
CERN is presenting its evidence at a physics conference in Australia this week, but plans to accompany the announcement with meetings in Geneva.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: God particle, Higgs boson, Geneva, Hadron Collider, physics
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