Science world buzzing over rumours the elusive 'God particle' has finally been found
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Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:05 PM
The world's largest atom smasher is rumoured to have found the Higgs boson, the subatomic particle otherwise known as the 'God particle'. The speculation is based on a leaked internal note, said to be from physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 17 mile-long particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland. The rumours started when an anonymous post disclosed part of the note on Columbia University mathematician Peter Woit's blog, Not Even Wrong
While some physicists are dismissing the note as a hoax, others say the find could be a huge particle physics breakthrough in understanding the workings of the universe. Physicist Sheldon Stone of Syracuse University said: 'If it were to be real, it would be really exciting.'
The Higgs boson is predicted to exist by the particle physics theory known as the Standard Model. The Higgs boson, physicists believe, bestows mass on all the other particles and was crucial to forming the cosmos after the Big Bang. It has long eluded physicists who believe it could explain why objects have mass.
Huge atom smashers — like the LHC and the Tevatron, at Fermilab in Illinois — have long been searching for the Higgs and other subatomic matter. These accelerators slam particles together at enormous speeds, generating a shower of other particles. The leaked note suggests that the LHC's ATLAS particle-detection experiment may have picked up a signature of the elusive Higgs. The signal is consistent, in mass and other characteristics, with what the Higgs is expected to produce, according to the note.
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