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New data on elusive particle shrouded in secrecy

Published: Wednesday, June 20 2012 10:50 a.m. MDT

In this May 20, 2011 file photo a physicist explains the Atlas experiment on a board at the European Center for Nuclear Research, CERN, outside Geneva, Switzerland. The illustration shows how a Higgs boson may look like in Atlas. Scientists at CERN will hold a public seminar Tuesday Dec. 13, 2011 to present their latest findings from the search for an elusive sub-atomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Physicists are increasingly confident that they have narrowed down the place where it will be found and may even already have hints at its existence hidden away in reams of data.

Associated Press

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Our take: The Higgs boson is known to be the cornerstone of modern physics, but its existence has yet to be confirmed for 40 years. However, some physicists believe they may have found the Higgs boson, and are hoping to report their results on July 4th at the International Conference on High Energy Physics, or Ichep, in Melbourne, Australia.

A team of physicists gathered in a room at CERN on Friday to begin crunching new data from the Large Hadron Collider this year. And they will be at it all week.

What they are seeing nobody knows.

What they are looking for is the beginning to the end of the longest and most expensive manhunt in the history of physics, one that has involved several generations of larger and larger particle accelerators: the spoor of a hypothetical particle that endows other elementary particles with mass. Known as the Higgs boson, it is the cornerstone of modern physics, but confirmation of its existence has eluded scientists for 40 years.

Read more about New data on elusive particle on NewYorkTimes.com.

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