French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (L) and French Higher Education and Research minister Genevieve Fioraso (C), flanked by CERN's general director Rolf Heuer (R), visit the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles, at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), near Geneva, on July 30, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JEFF PACHOUD
WASHINGTON (AP) - Physicists in Italy said Wednesday they are closer to concluding that what they found last year was the elusive "God particle." But they still haven't reached that "Eureka moment" when they can announce the Higgs boson is found.
The long theorized subatomic particle would explain why matter has mass and has been called a missing cornerstone of physics.
Last July scientists with the world's largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, announced finding a particle they described as Higgs-like. Since then, confirmation has been sought.
Physicists gave an update of their work Wednesday at a conference in the Italian Alps. They are trying to be sure that the particle that was found has no spin, essential for Higgs confirmation. The new analysis shows scientists are close but not there yet.
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