At the start of a big week for the Higgs boson, the most sought-after particle in all of physics, scientists in Illinois said Monday that they had crept closer to proving that the particle exists but had been unable to reach a definitive conclusion.
The scientists outlined their final analysis based on more than 10 years of research and 500 trillion particle collisions using the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermilab Tevatron collider near Batavia, Illinois, whose budgetary woes shut it down last year.
Their announcement came two days before researchers at the Large Hadron Collider under the Alps are due to unveil their latest results at an eagerly awaited seminar at the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.
"Our data strongly point toward the existence of the Higgs boson," Rob Roser, a spokesman for one of two independent experiments at the Tevatron, said in a statement. "But it will take results from the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe to establish a discovery."
Finding the Higgs boson would help explain the origin of mass, one of the open questions in physicists' current understanding of the way the universe works.FULL STORY