By JOHN HEILPRIN and SETH BORENSTEIN
GENEVA (AP) — Scientists believe the “God particle” that might explain the underpinnings of the universe is real, and they are about to present their evidence to the world.
Physicists at the world’s biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have nearly confirmed the primary plank of a theory that could shape the scientific understanding of all matter.
The idea is much like gravity and Isaac Newton’s discovery: It was there all the time before Newton explained it. But now scientists know what it is and can put that knowledge to further use.
The focus of the excitement is the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that, if confirmed, could help explain why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight.
But two independent teams of physicists are cautious after decades of work and billions of dollars spent. They don’t plan to use the word “discovery.” They say they will come as close as possible to a “eureka” announcement without uttering a pronouncement as if from the scientific mountaintop.
full AP story here
Lobos Motl has more here and writes:
According to an incognito ATLAS member who spoke to Nature, they have a discovery without any doubts. Pure elation that will culminate on Wednesday morning.
A live webcast will be provided, though I expect it it will be so overloaded as to be useless:
Watch at webcast.cern.ch