Hunt for Higgs Boson
CERN scientists on Wednesday confirmed the discovery of a subatomic particle which may be the fabled Higgs boson. Reuters

Speaking at a conference in Mumbai, scientists from the CERN research center indicated that while their research had taken strides forward, it could all be for naught, as new evidence suggests the Higgs Boson particle may not exist at all.

If the particle does exist it's "running out of places to hide," scientists said Monday.

Through a number of experiments carried out as part of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations they had been able to -- with 95 per cent certainty -- rule out the Higgs Boson's existence in the 145 to 466 GeV (gigaelectronvolts) mass region.

The news follows a report in July that scientists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN believed they had made the first steps to discover the elusive "God particle."

The discovery was made when the two teams monitoring the centre's two colliders detected unusual bumps in the 120 and 140GeV spectrum. The scientists quickly noted that the bump could indicate the existence of the particle, which is thought to exist between the 114 and 185GeV spectrum.

The diminished search has since been taken as a breakthrough by narrowing the search area.

"It's great that the LHC's fantastic performance this year has brought us this close to a region of possible discovery. Whatever the final verdict on Higgs, we're now living in very exciting times for all involved in the quest for new physics," said CMS spokesman Guido Tonelli.

Despite the development, many scientists have indicated that the search may prove a Sisyphean task, with the end result disproving rather than proving the particle's existence.

"These are exciting times for particle physics," commented CERN1's research director, Sergio Bertolucci. "Discoveries are almost assured within the next twelve months. If the Higgs exists, the LHC experiments will soon find it. If it does not, its absence will point the way to new physics."

Physicists have been hunting the boson since its existence was first theorised by Edinburgh University physicist Peter Higgs in 1964. Higgs postulated that certain particles actually gained mass via an invisible field present throughout the universe.

Since then it has been seen by numerous scientists as the missing particle in the standard model theory of particle physics. If discovered, the particle's existence would prove current scientists' understanding of why matter has mass while light does not.