CERN hints at existence of Higgs boson

Experiments at CERN point towards the discovery of the Higgs boson particle, scientists at the organisation have said.

Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider, an underground facility near Geneva, have been searching for evidence of the theoretical particle first postulated by the University’s Professor Peter Higgs.

Scientists at CERN have said that tantalising hints have been seen by experiments there, but these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery.

First glimpse

Experiments at CERN have produced a considerable amount of data, analysis of which suggests the existence of the particle.

However, researchers say more work is needed to claim the discovery of the Higgs.

Professor Higgs was working at the University in the 1960s when he developed his eponymous theory.

Unifying theory

The Higgs boson particle is thought to be a tiny yet crucial building block of physical matter that gives mass to all other particles.

The Higgs has a key role in the Standard Model of physics, which defines our understanding of the physical world.

The particle has dominated the field of particle physics for 40 years.

Over the coming months, scientists will be further refining their analyses.

However, a definitive statement on whether the Higgs exists will require more data, and is not likely until late in 2012.

Several scientists from the University are involved in the research at CERN.

We cannot conclude anything at this stage. We need more study and more data. We will not need to wait long for enough data and can look forward to resolving this puzzle in 2012.

Fabiola GianottiSpokesperson, ATLAS experiment at CERN