Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The search for the Higgs boson

A digital graphic shows the traces of colliding particles in a Higgs field produced by the Large Hadron Collider, the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world, at the Universe of Particles exhibition inside the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.

 

Recent studies by two teams of U.S. physicists who are also on the hunt for the elusive Higgs boson (sometimes referred to as the "God particle," to the chagrin of scientists) reinforced the encouraging findings announced by CERN scientists last December, giving further credence to the claim that scientists are rapidly closing in on the tiny subatomic speck of matter.

 

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The massive core of the world's largest superconducting solenoid magnet -- just one part of CERN's Large Hadron Collider -- is seen in this photo taken on March 22, 2007 in Geneva, Swtizerland.

Photo: ZUMA Press

Subatomic needle in a haystack

The massive core of the world's largest superconducting solenoid magnet, just one part of CERN's Large Hadron Collider, is seen in this photo taken in March 2007 in Geneva.

 

The Higgs Boson particle is thought to be the last puzzle piece in confirming the Standard Model, a theory in physics explaining the behavior and existence of elementary particles, which are tiny bits of matter that cannot be broken down into anything smaller.

 

Finding the Higgs boson particle will allow scientists to understand why matter possesses mass. If the particle doesn't exist, it may force scientists to rewrite much of the world's understanding of physics.