- (Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse)
Physicists at the Fermilab research center, home of the Tevatron collider, hope to have more evidence to confirm or refute the existence of the Higgs boson, or “God Particle” by the end of the month.
Due to lack of funding, the Tevatron collider is scheduled to close down on September 30.
Until then, scientists are attempting to gather enough information "to rule out the existence of a Higgs boson with a mass within the most likely range," Fermilab communications director Katie Yurkewicz told Reuters via email.
The Higgs boson, which also goes by the colloquial name “God particle,” is theorized to be the missing piece in the "Standard Model" of physics, which essentially explains how everything in the universe came to be.
The elusive elementary particle is thought to be the building block of all other sub-atomic particles and is what allows them to obtain mass.
Several research facilities have been on a quest to discover Higgs boson, including the team at CERN, which runs the Large Hadron Collider.
Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider recently reported that after an advance in their research, they expect to be able to find elementary proof of the Higgs boson by the end of 2011. It had previously been estimated that this proof could be uncovered by the end of 2012.
However, teams at both the Tevatron collider and Large Hadron Collider hope to speed up the discovery process even more.
Scientists at the Tevatron collider say that if they can come closer to finding the Higgs boson by the end of the month, the Large Hadron Collider will take over the mission.
"We're just hanging on, trying to get every last collision we can before we turn off to see whether we can make a statement, an important statement, about it," Fermilab physicist Rob Roser told NPR.
"We want to go out sprinting across the finish line, not crawling."