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  (Source: BBC)
Two separate experiments at the Large Hadron Collider bring scientists closer to elusive building block of Universe

For a week, anticipation has been building for the press conference held this morning by scientists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. Speculation abounded that they would announce evidence of the misnamed "God particle," the Higgs boson, which gives all matter mass.

So, now that 8 a.m. ET on December 13, 2011 has passed, are we any closer to finding the so-called God particle? Well, maybe.

According to the BBC, researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland say that two experiments there may have resulted in glimpses of the Higgs boson. However, they do not have enough evidence yet to make a solid claim.

So why all the fuss? 

"The Higgs is the final piece of the Standard Model of Particle Physics which is, itself, the crowning achievement of subatomic physics. Called the 'God Particle' by some, the Higgs is responsible for giving all the other flecks of matter in this Universe the remarkable property we think of as mass. Physicists have been hunting the Higgs for decades," explains Adam Frank at NPR's 13.7 blog.

Evidence of the Higgs would be one of the most significant scientific advances in 60 years. 

The two separate experiments at the LHC — Atlas and CMS — have been searching for the basic building block of the Universe independently. "Because the Standard Model does not predict an exact mass for the Higgs, physicists have to use particle accelerators like the LHC to systematically look for it across a broad search area," the BBC reports.

Both experiments have reportedly seen a data "spike" around a mass of 125 Gigaelectronvolts. While this isn't enough to confirm the Higgs' discovery, it is enough to generate mass excitement (pun definitely intended) in scientific circles.

Perhaps now all the citizens CERN recruited to help find the Higgs can go back to their day jobs.

Sources: BBC, NPR

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RE: Woohoo
By yomamafor1 on 12/13/2011 1:31:41 PM , Rating: 0
Please explain to me how does finding the God particle would've benefit the religious interest groups? Christian fundamentalists have always tried to stifle the scientific community (Does forcing Intelligence Design to be taught in public school ring any bell?) at the cost of the future generations. Yes, budget overruns was a concern, but allocating only $4B to construct a 54.1 mile underground ring was idiotic to begin with. It is as if they're expecting the SSC to fail before the construction was even started.

Secondly, it is one thing to use computer to generate simulations, and another to actually experiment on it. Theory is nothing if it cannot be proven in real life. This is the reason why EU spent a fortune on CERN. And now, the spirit of scientific explorations in the US, which was one of the main reasons US climbed to the top of the world, is taking a back burner.

RE: Woohoo
By MrBlastman on 12/13/2011 1:58:50 PM , Rating: 3
Are you seriously lumping all religious groups into the "fundamentalist" category? If you are, your perception of religion is falsely skewed and you really should take a look at reality again as it has fallen from the grasp of your fingertips. You accused the project of failing due to Religious reasons yet in another post, admit to the weak initial four billion dollar budget being a big reason.

Make up your mind man, you aren't making any sense here.

Yes, real world data is the only definite way to be used in science (as that is a major part of the scientific method)--the only reason I even mentioned computers was not due to theoretical modelling but instead, raw analysis of the outpouring data from the collder itself (which on its own is a massive undertaking computationally speaking).

RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/13/2011 2:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
The religious response to the discovery of yet another piece of scientific evidence pointing to the universe as something govered by the laws of physics rather than the laws of a deity, is usually followed by the predicatable but incorrect reponse that the particle had to be created by something and that something is the Deity who governs everything.

RE: Woohoo
By JediJeb on 12/14/2011 6:48:30 PM , Rating: 3
predicatable but incorrect reponse that the particle had to be created by something

Devil's Advocate: What created it?

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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