Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), who have been trying to unlock the mystery over the origin of particle mass, said on Monday the Higgs boson still remained elusive after more than 70 million particle collisions in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
The physicists, who came tantalizingly close to finding the God particle, or the creation particle, now expect they could crack the mystery in experiments next year.
"I hope the big discoveries will come next year, said Rolf Heuer, director-general of the CERN research centre, at a physicists' conference in Grenoble, France. "I would say we can settle the question, the Shakespearean question — ‘to be or not to be’ — by the end of next year."
There were reports that physicists had been able to see some strange anomalies, or fluctuations, when the analysed the data collected from the mega-velocity collisions at the atom smasher.
Scientists probing into how the Universe came alive stumbled on to a big breakthrough in particle physics in the 1970s. According to CERN, this was when physicists Peter Higgs, Robert Brout and François Englert postulated the theory of the missing God particle to solve the mystery of creation of the universe.
"They suggested that all particles had no mass just after the Big Bang. As the Universe cooled and the temperature fell below a critical value, an invisible force field called the ‘Higgs field’ was formed together with the associated ‘Higgs boson’. The field prevails throughout the cosmos: any particles that interact with it are given a mass via the Higgs boson. The more they interact, the heavier they become, whereas particles that never interact are left with no mass at all."
The theory fitted with other scientific premises, but no one ever observed the Higgs boson in an experiment to confirm the theory. Physicists believed that finding this particle would show why particles have certain mass, but even the mass of the Higgs boson itself was not know to them. They had to look for it by systematically searching a range of mass within which it is predicted to exist. And that is the use of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The experiments at the LHC will help determine the existence of the Higgs boson, scientists hope.
"One way or another, it or something like it has to be there, otherwise we wouldn't be here," Heuer had said in 2008.
Experiments at the $10-billion proton collider have been focused on finding the Higgs Boson, the most important missing element in the Standard Model of particle physics theory that explains the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe.
When streams of protons were fired through the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator some unusual results were visible, giving a hint of the existence of the missing God particle. However, Scientists did not rule out the possibility that the fluctuations were misreading or passing phenomena.