Mumbai conference says 'God particle,' if exists, will be discovered within 12 months

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 23, 2011 04:30 hrs

At the biannual Lepton-Photon conference in Mumbai, India, ATLAS and CMS scientists have revealed that the elusive Higgs particle, if it exists, will be discovered within the next 12 months.

Proving or disproving the existence of the Higgs boson, which was postulated in the 1960s as part of a mechanism that would confer mass on fundamental particles, is among the main goals of the LHC scientific programme.

ATLAS and CMS have excluded the existence of a Higgs over most of the mass region 145 to 466 GeV with 95 percent certainty.

"These are exciting times for particle physics," said CERN's research director, Sergio Bertolucci.

"Discoveries are almost assured within the next twelve months. If the Higgs exists, the LHC experiments will soon find it. If it does not, its absence will point the way to new physics," he stated.

At the first major particle physics conference of 2011, the European Physical Society's High Energy Physics conference held in Grenoble, France, in July, both ATLAS and CMS were careful to stress that possible hints of a Higgs signal in their data could be explained by statistical fluctuations.

Now, with additional data analysed, the significance of those fluctuations has slightly decreased.

"Thanks to the superb performance of the LHC, we have recorded a huge amount of new data over the last month," said ATLAS spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti.

"This has allowed us to make great strides in our understanding of the Standard Model and in the search for the Higgs boson and new physics," Gianotti added. (ANI)