Scientists: We'll Find 'God Particle' by End of 2012
Machine to stay running longer than planned
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 21, 2011 11:28 AM CST
This May 31, 2007 file photo shows a view of the LHC (large hadron collider) in its tunnel at CERN (European particle physics laboratory) near Geneva, Switzerland.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini, File)

(Newser) – Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider think they'll probably prove the existence of the Higgs Boson, or “God Particle,” within two years—and that if they can’t, it likely doesn’t exist. The machine was supposed to be shut down at year’s end, but it's been extended until the end of 2012 because it's been running so well, scientists tell the Telegraph. "By the end of next year, we hope very much that we will be able to say something about the Higgs," the head of CERN said.

After it’s shut down, the LHC will stay off for some 15 months before it’s turned back on at full power (it's currently running at half). "If we don't see it, we will be very excited, because it means that there's something very brand-new," another researcher said. "But to say we looked and we didn't find anything ... we'll probably volunteer to have other people stand up here in front of you if that day comes."
 

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