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Saying goodbye to the “God particle”?

Well, crap. Not even a month ago the news was this:

God particle: Existence to be confirmed by 2012” — Physicists directing research through the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) have announced that the existence of the sub-atomic “God particle” will be decided by the end of 2012. For many years, scientists have speculated the existence of the particle, also called the Higgs boson particle, but have not been able to provide any proof to corroborate the fact. However, at the International Europhysics Conference on High-Energy Physics in Grenoble, France, this past weekend, researchers presented some curious data bleeps that could hint the existence of such a particle. (Christian Post, July 26, 2011)

But now it’s this:

Evidence of elusive ‘God particle’ fades” — International scientists searching to solve the greatest riddle in all of physics said Monday that signs are fading of the elusive Higgs-Boson particle, which is believed to give objects mass. Just last month, physicists announced at a European conference that a big atom-smasher experiment had shown tantalizing hints of the Higgs-Boson, as the search to identify the particle enters the final stretch with results expected late next year. Sometimes described as the “God particle” because it is such a mystery yet such a potent force of nature, the Higgs-Boson — if it exists — represents the final piece of the Standard Model of physics. “At this moment we don’t see any evidence for the Higgs in the lower mass region where it is likely to be,” said physicist Howard Gordon, deputy US ATLAS operations program manager. ATLAS is the biggest particle collider lab at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). (The Raw Story, August 22, 2011)

The headline from Reuters is even more discouraging: “Higgs boson may be a mirage, scientists hint.”

At least they gave us a consolation prize:

“Whatever the final verdict on Higgs, we are now living in very exciting times for all involved in the quest for new physics,” Guido Tonelli, from one of the two LHC detectors chasing the Higgs, said as the new observations were announced.

Yeah, yeah. I still want a God particle.

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