Researchers say they may be close to answering one of the world's biggest mysteries.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) recently announced that researchers will know whether the Higgs boson particle, commonly referred to as the God particle, actually exists by the end of 2012. Some say the particle could be responsible for the creation of the planets and stars and that it may be the key to understanding the Big Bang.
Rolf Heuer, director-general of the CERN research center told the International Business Times, "We can settle this Shakespearean question -- to be or not to be -- by the end of next year."
According to an International Business Times' report, a recent experiment that involved shooting streams of protons through the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) obtained some atypical results that have led to a resurgence of confidence in those who have searched relentlessly for answers. For those of us who don't know, the LHC is a large particle accelerator that sits deep in a tunnel beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. Experimenters say the findings are exciting.
CERN's Director for Research and Scientific Computing, Sergio Bertolucci, told the International Business Times that any discovery- either the confirmation of the particle's existence or otherwise, would be good news for the world. Both results, he said, would push the research forward.
It may seem like a big question to answer in a little less than a year and a half, but with the Worldwide LHC grid's ability to process 200,000 physics analyses simultaneously, some think the work may get done.
Still for a mystery that's captured the imagination of scientists and the international community for years, the December 2012 deadline is coming quickly.
Back in April, we reported that scientists may have finally found the “God particle” — the hypothetical Higgs boson at the center of life. Back then, by using a giant atom smasher, there were rumors of a major discovery. Scientists scrambled to duplicate the experiment to get confirmation. But as of June, no confirmation of the claims ever came.
LCH researchers' most recent claims sound a lot like previous reports and hopes in April, but experimenters are staying confident. "While it's still too early for the biggest discoveries, the experiments are already accumulating interesting results," Heuer said in a press release from CERN. Researchers released their most recent findings at a conference in Grenoble, France late last week and held a press conference on Monday.
The Higgs boson particle is named after British theoretical physicist, Peter Higgs, who suggested the existence of the particle in the 1960s as part of his research into the origin of mass. It gained noteriety when Nobel-prize physicist Leon M. Lederman and science writer Dick Teresi wrote a book called The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What is the Question? The book looks into the history of particle physics and the God particle.