'God Particle' Not Found Despite Rumor

BATAVIA, Ill., July 14 (UPI) — Media reports that an American particle physics lab has discovered the long-sought “God particle” have no factual basis, a lab official said.

A British newspaper reported Monday that the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., had discovered the elusive Higgs boson, the elemental particle that could explain why all matter has mass, the Batavia Sun reported Wednesday.

The United States’ premier particle physics lab, Fermi has been searching for the Higgs for years, and hopes to discover it before the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland renders Fermilab’s own Tevatron accelerator obsolete, the Sun said.

The British publication apparently based its article on a blog item by a physicist at the University of Padua in Italy who claimed to have “two different, possibly independent sources” suggesting Fermilab had found the Higgs, the Sun said.

On Tuesday, Fermi lab spokeswoman Judy Jackson said it was completely untrue.

“It has no factual basis, and we don’t comment on rumors,” Jackson said.

The incorrect story had spread rapidly across the Internet, despite a follow-up story in the British newspaper debunking the claims.

On Monday afternoon, the lab’s communications staff issued a brief statement.

“Let’s settle this: The rumors spread by one fame-seeking blogger are just rumors. That’s it.”

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