'God particle' discovery poses Nobel dilemma
PARIS (AFP) - On July 4, scientists announced they had discovered a new particle that may be the fabled Higgs boson, an exploit that would rank as the greatest achievement in physics in more than half a century.
But they also created a headache for the jury that will decide next Tuesday's Nobel Prize for Physics.
Historic though it is, does the announcement deserve the award? And if so, who should get it? The breakthrough at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) touches on the agonising quest to find the "God particle," so called for being everywhere and elusive at the same time.
Named after British physicist Peter Higgs, the boson is a key to our concept of matter, as it could explain why particles have mass. Without the Higgs, the Universe as we know it would simply not exist, according to the theory. "This is the physics version of the discovery of DNA," says Dr Peter Knight, president of Britain's Institute of Physics.