Tests clear way for “Big Bang” experiment “Looking for, among other things, a particle that made life possible.”



The elusive particle, which has been dubbed the “Higgs boson” after Scottish physicist Peter Higgs who first postulated nearly 50 years ago that it must exist, is thought to be the mysterious factor that holds matter together.

Recreating a “Big Bang,” which most scientists believe is the only explanation of an expanding universe, ought to show how stars and planets came together out of the primeval chaos that followed, the CERN team believes.

Efforts to track it down in a predecessor to the LHC at CERN, and in another experiment in the United States, failed. But scientists are confident that the vast leap in technologies represented by the LHC will make the difference.

Higgs, a 79-year-old Edinburgh University professor who as an atheist angrily rejects the idea of calling the boson the “God particle” — believes it will show up very quickly once the beams are colliding in the LHC.

“If it doesn’t,” he said during a visit to CERN earlier this year, “I shall be very, very puzzled.”

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