God Particle Could Be Found in 2012
Scientists will either find the so-called God particle or rule out its existence by the end of 2012, the director of the world’s largest atom smasher predicted Monday. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the particle could help scientists solve the mystery of how the universe was created.
The Higgs boson—also known as the “God particle”—is believed to answer the question of why matter has mass. It is theorized to give mass to other particles, and thus makes up a key part of the Big Bang theory.
Rolf Heuer of the European particle physics laboratory in Geneva based his confidence on new findings from the proton collider under the Swiss-French border, the Monitor said. According to Heuer, scientists are starting to be able to identify the level of high energy where the particle is expected to be found.
“I would say we can settle the question, the Shakespearean question—‘to be or not to be’—end of next year,” he told reporters at a physics conference in Grenoble.
The collider has made significant progress in recent years, throwing together two proton beams last year that simulated conditions one-trillionth to two-trillionths of a second after the Big Bang. Now, the power of the super collider has been ramped up to record levels, the Monitor reported.
In addition to solving the mystery of the God particle, physicists are also hoping to use the collider to better understand phenomena like dark matter, antimatter and supersymmetry.