Higgs boson coming into focus, say scientists (+video)
Higgs boson: The hunt for the Higgs boson, the so-called God Particle, continues. But in a study released today, scientists say they're getting closer to proving the existence of Higgs boson, but the image is 'fuzzy.'
Scientists say they have gotten even closer to proving the existence of the elusive Higgs boson, the so-called "God particle" that supplies mass to matter and would complete Albert Einstein's theory of the universe.
Analyzing data from some 500 trillion sub-atomic particle collisions designed to emulate conditions right after the Big Bang when the universe was formed, scientists at Fermilab outside Chicago have produced some 1,000 Higgs particles over a decade of work.
"Unfortunately, this hint is not significant enough to conclude that the Higgs boson exists," said Rob Roser, a physicist at Fermilab, near Chicago, in explaining the findings being presented on Wednesday at a conference in La Thuille, Italy.
The image scientists have of the short-lived Higgs particles, which almost immediately decay into other particles, is still slightly "fuzzy," Roser said.
The probability that what physicists detected is not a Higgs boson and is instead a statistical fluke was 1 in 250, which is near the threshold of 1 in 740 that physics has set to establish proof of a sub-atomic particle's existence.
The hunt for the Higgs boson is significant because it would show the existence of an invisible field thought to permeate the entire universe. The Higgs field was posited in the 1960s by British scientist Peter Higgs as the way that matter obtained mass after the universe was created during the Big Bang.
According to the theory, it was the agent that made the stars, planets and life possible by giving mass to most elementary particles. Some gave it the nickname the "God particle."