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Researchers Question 'God Particle' Discovery

July 16, 2001

The European physics laboratory CERN may not have detected the long-sought subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson after all. The findings that researchers thought were signs of the Higgs may have been simply random movements by other, less interesting particles, physicists said last week after reanalyzing results of last year's experiments. The Higgs boson is a theoretical particle believed to be the source of mass and weight in the universe, and CERN has been in a race with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago to find the first evidence supporting its existence. The European scientists announced in November that they had seen evidence of the so-called God particle, but CERN was shut down for renovations before they could follow up on the data.

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Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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