US-based physicists Monday reported finding strong hints of the Higgs boson, the elusive particle that is believed to give objects mass, but said European data is needed to confirm any potential discovery.
If physicists can confirm the existence of the Higgs boson, the last missing piece in the standard model of physics, the announcement would rank among the most important scientific breakthroughs of the last century.
The findings from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in the midwestern US state of Illinois, will be followed by the announcement of more definitive results from a potent European atom-smasher on Wednesday.
“Our data strongly point toward the existence of the Higgs boson, but it will take results from the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe to establish a discovery,” said Fermilab spokesman Rob Roser.
Scientists are gaining confidence in the existence of the elusive “god particle,” also known as Higgs boson. Many scientists don’t like the term “god particle” due to the negative connotations inferred by the religious and the exaggerated importance placed on the particle. It is more of a comment on the particle’s elusiveness, according to Leon Lederman, who coined the term in his book “The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question.” He says that a more apt term would be the “goddamn particle,” because of all the expense and energy expended in proving the existence of the particle first theorized about in the Standard Model of Particle Physics.