American scientists have found strong hints that the rumored Higgs boson particle exists, and has been created inside an atom smasher in Illinois.
The news comes just days before big news on the search for the Higgs is expected to be delivered by physicists from the world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
"This is a very exciting week — it may be the most exciting week in physics since I became a physicist," Joe Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Ill.
The Higgs boson, also called the "God particle," is thought to explain why other particles have mass. The idea is that a related energy field, called the Higgs field, permeates space, and that as particles pass through this field their interactions with it confer mass on them, like a spoon being dragged through molasses.