Fermilab Closes In on Higgs Boson

New report shows evidence matching CERN findings

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 7, 2012 7:24 AM CST

(Newser) – Particle physicists are closer than ever to confirming the existence of the Higgs boson, thanks to a report this morning from Illinois' Fermilab. Two teams of physicists that used Fermilab's now-closed Tevatron particle collider and reviewed data provided by their experiments over the last few years say they've spotted events between 115 and 135 GeV that could indicate the presence of the so-called God Particle, Wired reports. That corresponds nicely with CERN's December findings that the Higgs was somewhere between 115 and 127 GeV.

Neither lab's findings amount to proof of the particle's existence. "A worldwide picture is starting to form that is making us excited at some level," said a physicist from one of the two experiments. "We see some tantalizing evidence but not significant enough to make a stronger statement." The signal could just be a random data fluctuation, though scientists pegged the odds of that at just one in 100, according to the New York Times. A Fermilab physicist tells the AP that because the Tevatron closed in September, the final discovery of the Higgs will likely happen in Europe.

In this 2000 photo, workmen install a tracking chamber that will record particles emerging from the collision of protons and anti-protons at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.
In this 2000 photo, workmen install a tracking chamber that will record particles emerging from the collision of protons and anti-protons at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.   (AP Photo/Fermilab)
This 2003 photo released Feb. 19, 2009 by Fermilab shows Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.
This 2003 photo released Feb. 19, 2009 by Fermilab shows Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.   (AP Photo/Fermilab)
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