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Breakthrough hailed in quest for ‘God particle’

In Tech, World News on July 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

By London Independent

You wait millions of years for a God particle to come along, and then two clusters turn up at once.

Scientists in the US announced they may have detected the elusive and potentially universe-changing Higgs boson particle yesterday, just two days after rivals in Switzerland signalled that they, too, have caught their first sight of it.

The physicists working at the Fermilab facility in Illinois may not be as well known as their more illustrious competitors at the Cern Institute near Geneva, which attracted widespread media attention and predictions of an apocalypse when its Large Hadron Collider was turned on in 2008.

However, Fermilab have their own version of the $10 billion collider, known as the Tevatron, in which they are also accelerating beams of protons and antiprotons around tunnels many miles long at extreme speeds. Both teams are doing this to create high-energy collisions between the particles, which they believe should produce the mysterious Higgs boson.

This puzzling sub-atomic object is the key missing element in the Standard Model theory of particle physics, hence its “God particle” nickname.

If its existence can be proven, it will confirm our understanding of why some elements of our universe have…

Full article…

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