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Scientists raise doubts over discovery of elusive God particle

Sharon Gaudin | Nov. 12, 2014
MIT professor still confident particle is Higgs boson, but would still be excited if it’s something else.

Frandsen and his group of researchers contend that the particle found by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research that runs the collider, could be what's called a techni-higgs -- a particle easily confused with a Higgs boson but one that belongs to a different theory of how the universe was created.

Paus, though, said he would be excited even to learn that the particle isn't a Higgs boson because it would open up a whole new understanding of the universe. "I would love the particle we have found not to be the Higgs," he added. "If it wasn't the Higgs, that would mean there must be much more particles out there and it would be a leap in our understand of all particles, giving us another chance to understand much more about what the world around us is made of.... That would be the first time in a long time that we make a quantum leap in our understanding."

Paus still believes there's a "relatively small likelihood" that what they've found is not the Higgs boson.

The collider, shut down in 2013 for a two-year upgrade, is expected to begin running again early next year, according to CERN.

When that happens, Paus said, scientists will get more particle measurements and learn more about its properties. "That's when the image gets sharper," he said.


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