The announcement of the first glimpse of the Higgs Boson was given in July 2012 (Reuters)
The announcement of the first glimpse of the Higgs Boson was given in July 2012 (Reuters)

Scientists at the European Council for Nuclear Research (Cern) have announced it is looking "more and more" likely that a particle they discovered last year is the Higgs Boson.

Cern said that after extensive testing, involving two and a half times more data than was available to them following last year's announcement of the first glimpse of the elusive "God particle", they are increasingly confident that it is the Higgs Boson.

However, is still remains an "open question" as to whether it is in fact the Higgs Boson cited in the Standard Model of particle physics - which gives mass to all other particles in the universe - or one of several other bosons cited in different models.

The collaborating scientists ATLAS and CMS still described the latest announcement as a "magnificent" discovery, despite the element of doubt.

CMS spokesperson Joe Incandela said: "The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs Boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs Boson it is."

While there is still no definitive proof of the Higgs Boson's existence, the latest announcement is one step closer to defining the particle as the Standard Model particle predicted by Edinburgh professor Peter Higgs 50 years ago.

Scientists must continue to test how the particle reacts with other particles to determine the strand. To do so they must continue to gather data from the Large Hadron Collider.

ATLAS spokesperson Dave Charlton said: "The beautiful new results represent a huge effort by many dedicated people. They point to the new particle having the spin-parity of a Higgs Boson as in the Standard Model. We are now well started on the measurement programme in the Higgs sector."

The phrase 'God particle' was coined by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman. It is not used by physicists, but rather as an easier way of explaining how the subatomic universe works and got started.

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