Physicists on Higgs Boson Hunt: Nearly There, But Not Yet

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Physicists are closer to concluding that what they found last year was the Higgs boson, the elusive so-called "God particle," which could restructure the understanding of why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight, scientists in Italy announced Wednesday.

    But they still haven't reached that "Eureka moment" when they can announce the Higgs boson has been discovered.

    The long theorized subatomic particle would explain why matter has mass and has been called a missing cornerstone of physics.

    Last July, scientists with the world's largest atom smasher -- the Large Hadron Collider -- announced finding a particle they described as Higgs-like. Since then, confirmation has been sought.

    Scientists from Caltech were among those who made the historic announcement last summer.

    Physicists gave an update of their work Wednesday at a conference in the Italian Alps. They are trying to be sure that the particle that was found has no spin, an essential characteristic for Higgs confirmation.

    The new analysis shows scientists are close but not there yet.

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