(Reuters) - Scientists hunting the Higgs subatomic particle will unveil results next week that could confirm, confound or complicate our understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe.
Seldom has something so small and ephemeral excited such interest. The theoretical particle explains how suns and planets formed after the Big Bang - but so far it has not been proven to exist.
The CERN research centre near Geneva will on July 4 unveil its latest findings in the search for the Higgs after reporting "tantalizing glimpses" in December.
Scientific bloggers and even some of the thousands of physicists working on the project are speculating that CERN will finally announce proof of the existence of the Higgs.
"It's still premature to say anything so definitive," says CERN spokesman James Gillies, adding the two teams involved are still analyzing data and even CERN insiders won't know the answer until the results from both are brought together.
But with plans for a news conference that will be beamed live around the world and coincide with a major particle physics conference in Melbourne, Australia, anticipation of a significant announcement is hard to avoid.
allow scientists the ability to look at what makes up matter the same way as a sledge hammer let's you see what makes up a Swiss watch. You have to look at the result and try to figure out what each bit does but it's only a hint as to the way everything works together in harmony.