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But after decades of work and billions of dollars spent, researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, say they aren't quite ready to say they've "discovered" the particle.
Instead, experts familiar with the research at CERN's vast complex on the Swiss-French border say that the massive data they have obtained will essentially show the footprint of the key particle known as the Higgs boson -- all but proving it exists -- but doesn't allow them to say it has actually been glimpsed.
It appears to be a fine distinction. Senior CERN scientists say that the two independent teams of physicists who plan to present their work at CERN's vast complex on the Swiss-French border on July 4 are about as close as you can get to a discovery without actually calling it one.
"I agree that any reasonable outside observer would say, `It looks like a discovery,"' British theoretical physicist John Ellis, a professor at King's College London who has worked at CERN since the 1970s, told The Associated Press. "We've discovered something which is consistent with being a Higgs."
CERN's atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to help them understand suspected phenomena such as dark matter, antimatter and ultimately the creation of the universe billions of years ago, which many theorize occurred as a massive explosion known as the Big Bang.
For particle physicists, finding the Higgs boson is a key to confirming the standard model of physics that explains what gives mass to matter and, by extension, how the universe was formed.
Rob Roser, who leads the search for the Higgs boson at the Fermilab in Chicago, says "particle physicists have a very high standard for what it takes to be a discovery" and thinks it is a hair's breadth away.
Rosen compared the results scientists are preparing to announce Wednesday to finding the fossilized imprint of a dinosaur: "You see the footprints and the shadow of the object, but you don't actually see it."
Thursday, September 20 2012, 07:43 AM CDT
Nashville judge permanently suspends guardian
May 22, 2013 23:17 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Nashville judge has permanently suspended the public guardian of Davidson County while citing "significant concerns" that she charged excessive fees to the elderly and disabled people she is supposed to protect.
The Tennessean (http://goo.gl/1P5gG ) is reporting that Probate Judge Randy Kennedy terminated public guardian Jeanan Mills Stuart following questions over her billing practices.
As public guardian, Stuart was responsible for making legal, medical and financial decisions for incapacitated people who had no family or friends willing or able to make decisions for them. The paper's revelations showed how Stuart charged those in her care legal rates of $200 to $225 an hour to perform tasks such as shopping or helping them move to an assisted living facility.
Stuart, who has resigned, did not respond to a call seeking comment.
Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com
Bernanke signals Fed to maintain stimulus efforts
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress that the U.S. job market remains weak and that it is too soon for the Federal Reserve to end its extraordinary stimulus programs.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: TEENS MOVING TO TWITTER TO DODGE PARENTS, OTHER BORES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- If you're one of those parents who are on Facebook in part to keep an eye on what your kids are up to -- here's a news flash: your kids are on to you and have moved to Twitter.
DOG BEACH WEAR
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- From bikinis to Hawaiian shirts -- it's time to gear up for the beach.