New Data Narrows Search for 'God' Particle

The particle's existence may explain why atoms, and everything else in the universe, have weight.

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GENEVA — Two research teams hunting for an elusive subatomic particle believed to be a basic building block of the universe say their latest data help narrow the search.

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Guido Tonelli, lead physicist for the team running the so-called CMS experiment, outlined findings similar to those of the first team unveiled earlier Tuesday in Geneva. Both show the Higgs boson can be found "in the low mass region" of the massive atom smasher being used to track it down.

The unveiling of the latest data has generated much buzz among researchers who hope that the particle, if it exists, can help explain many mysteries of the universe. British physicist Peter Higgs and others theorized the particle's existence more than 40 years ago to explain why atoms, and everything else in the universe, have weight.