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Puny US particle punisher finds strong evidence for God particle

Attempt to mow LHC's grass ahead of Thursday's Big Reveal

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The US particle collider Tevatron has jumped in just ahead of the Large Hadron Collider's results announcement this week to say that their machine has found the "strongest indication to date" of the God particle.

The LHC's baby American cousin stopped bashing particles off each other back in March 2001 but the scientists have kept crunching the numbers from the 500 trillion collisions produced to wring the last drops of data out.

Today, the boffins said their data "strongly point toward the existence of the Higgs boson" but we're still not there yet.

“It is a real cliffhanger," the DZero experiment co-spokesperson and physicist at the Laboratory of Nuclear and High Energy Physics in Paris, Gregorio Bernardi, said in a canned statement.

"We know exactly what signal we are looking for in our data, and we see strong indications of the production and decay of Higgs bosons in a crucial decay mode with a pair of bottom quarks, which is difficult to observe at the LHC. We are very excited about it."

However, the Tevatron researchers admitted it would be up to the LHC to properly "discover" the so-called God particle. Scientists are very careful about announcing a discovery, preferring to be absolutely sure before they say anything, which has led to endless strong evidence for the Higgs boson, but no certainty.

The LHC is due to announce its results at a scientific seminar at 7am GMT on July 4 and it is expected to say that its experiments have finally found the particle. CERN boffins could still disappoint though with a less than concrete announcement of more strong evidence or indeed certainty that the Higgs exists without having actually found it, so to speak.

The Tevatron results indicate that the Higgs particle, if it exists, has a mass between 115 and 135 GeV/c2, or about 130 times the mass of the proton, which backs up earlier results from LHC.

"During its life, the Tevatron must have produced thousands of Higgs particles, if they actually exist, and it's up to us to try to find them in the data we have collected,” Luciano Ristori, co-spokesperson of the CDF experiment and physicist at Fermilab said.

“We have developed sophisticated simulation and analysis programs to identify Higgs-like patterns. Still, it is easier to look for a friend’s face in a sports stadium filled with 100,000 people than to search for a Higgs-like event among trillions of collisions.”

The full paper on the results is available here. ®

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