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Particle discovery could force rethink of modern physics

Scientists at Europe's CERN research centre believe they have found one of the basic building blocks of the universe -- a subatomic particle called the Higgs boson. The Director General of CERN told an audience of scientists that the discovery is a milestone in mankind's understanding of nature and has opened up exciting prospects for further revelations in the field. Peter Higgs, the British physicist who proposed the existence of the boson which bears his name in the 1960s, was at CERN to welcome the news. The Higgs theory explains how particles clumped together to form stars, planets and life itself. Without the Higgs particle, the particles that make up the universe would have remained a formless soup, the theory goes. What scientists do not yet know from the latest findings is whether the particle they have discovered is in fact the Higgs boson. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH SCIENTIST, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF THEORETICAL PHYSICS AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE, TOM KIBBLE, SAYING: "They have certainly discovered a particle which looks similar to the expected Higgs particle, but there is a lot of work to be done to be sure that it has all the right properties,'' It could also be a variant of the Higgs idea or an entirely new subatomic particle that could force a rethink on the fundamental structure of matter. Sarah Sheffer, Reuters

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