GENEVA – The head of the world's biggest atom smasher says they have discovered a new particle that is consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson known popularly as the "God particle," which is believed to give all matter in the universe size and shape
Rolf Heuer, director of the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, says "we have a discovery" of a new subatomic particle, a boson, that is "consistent with a Higgs boson."
Higgs boson's existence was predicted decades ago to help explain how the universe works.
He spoke after two independent teams at CERN said they have both "observed" a new particle.
But the teams stopped just shy of claiming outright discovery of the Higgs boson itself that is key to our understanding of why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight.
Fabiola Gianotti, leader of the second team of some 3,000 scientists, known as ATLAS, said it also has observed some "beautiful" events in CERN's atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border.
It has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to investigate dark matter, antimatter and the creation of the universe, which many theorize occurred in a massive explosion known as the Big Bang.