Physicists said on Tuesday they had narrowed the search for the elusive sub-atomic Higgs Boson particle that would confirm the way science describes the Universe.
Experiments at Europe's giant atom smasher have “reduced the window where scientists think they will find the Higgs Boson,” also known as the God Particle, said Bruno Mansoulie, a researcher at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). The Higgs Boson is the missing link is the so-called Standard Model of physics, which explains how the basic building blocks of all matter fit together.
Its existence — if confirmed — would explain in a single stroke the mystery of what gives this invisible constellation of particles mass.
Such a discovery would rank in importance with major breakthroughs of the last century, going back to Einstein's first formulation of quantum physics. For now, however, the Higgs Boson only exists only in theory. If it turns of to be a mirage, it would force scientists back to the drawing board to rewrite the textbook of particle physics. CERN reported on Tuesday the midpoint results from two separate experiments, which independently arrived at the same conclusion, pointed to activity within a certain range of mass that would be consistent with the Higgs Boson.
The Web-cast presentation was made before several hundred scientists in an atmosphere charged with excitement and punctuated with applause.
Taken together, the results provide “tantalising hints” that the sought-after particle is hiding inside a narrow range of mass, CERN said.
“It's too early to draw definitive conclusions, we need more data,” said Fabiola Gianotti, head of the ATLAS experiment, adding, “But we have established a solid foundation for passionately exciting months ahead.” However, she said that a definitive answer was expected with 12 months.