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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Scientists Close to Finding "God Particle"

Finding the Higgs Boson Particle - In February, the last piece of the ATLAS detector, the world’s largest general-purpose particle detector, has been lowered down a 300 feet shaft at the European Organization for Nuclear Research's (CERN) underground facility along the Swiss-French border. This concluded the construction of the high-tech device which started in 2003.

The ATLAS detector, measuring 46 meters long, 25 meters high and 25 metres wide, will detect and trace particles called muons expected to be produced in particle collisions in the CERN accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Meanwhile, British physicist Peter Higgs said yesterday that he is certain the new device will find a particle named the "Higgs boson," which is named after him. Also dubbed the "God particle," its existence was claimed by Higgs as far back as 1964, but using only scientific calculations.

European experiments are slated to begin later this year. The project will look for signs of the Higgs particle, which is believed by some scientists to be responsible for giving other particles their mass. CERN said in its statement that its entire muon spectrometer system contains an area equal to three football fields, including 1.2 million independent electronic channels.