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Laboratory Pulls Plug on Search for Subatomic 'God Particle'

November 09, 2000

Europe's top particle physics laboratory decided Wednesday to shut down the machine it was using to chase an elusive subatomic particle--the Higgs boson, more commonly called the god particle--which is believed to be key to understanding the makeup of the universe. The long-delayed decision was made after scientists determined that the results of the search, though promising, so far weren't sufficient to warrant spending $60 million to keep the machine going for another year.

The closing could end the hopes of the European Laboratory for Particle Physics to discover the particle before rival Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory outside Chicago. The accelerator is to be dismantled to make way for a $1.8-billion new accelerator.

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--Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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