CERN Gets Closer, but No Higgs Boson Yet

Teams spot promising bumps, but can't prove particle exists
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2011 10:14 AM CST
CERN Gets Closer, but No Higgs Boson Yet
Visitor to the CERN watch a projection at 'Universe of Particles' exhibition on December 13, 2011 in Geneva.   (Getty Images)

CERN's much-hyped presentation of its latest Large Hadron Collider results proved to be a bit of a letdown today, as two teams of scientists both admitted that, despite some "tantalizing hints," they hadn't located the elusive Higgs boson yet. They did, however, narrow down where it might be hiding; according to their combined data, the particle's mass must be somewhere between 115 billion and 127 billion electron volts, assuming it actually exists, the New York Times reports.

"We cannot conclude anything at this stage," said a spokesman for one of the two teams. But "given the outstanding performance of the LHC this year, we will not need to wait long for enough data, and can look forward to resolving this puzzle in 2012." The two teams both recorded encouragingly similar data, with one concluding that the particle must weigh 125 billion electron volts, and the other spotting a promising bump at 126 billion electron volts. (More CERN stories.)

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