(Newsroom America) -- European scientists at the world's largest atom smasher will announce Wednesday they have amassed enough evidence to demonstrate with near certainty that the so-called "God particle," which answers fundamental questions about the universe, exists.
However, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, are not yet ready to say they have "discovered" the particle, reports said, despite years of research and billions of dollars spent.
Rather, say experts who are familiar with the research, the data has allowed scientists to show a footprint of the key particle, called the Higgs boson, which all but proves it exists but does not quite allow them to say they've glimpsed it, The Associated Press reported.
Senior scientists at the facility, which is located on the French-Swiss border, say a pair of independent teams of physicists are set to present their work July 4 at CERN, adding they are as close as you can get to an actual discovery, without really calling it that.
"I agree that any reasonable outside observer would say, `It looks like a discovery,'" British theoretical physicist John Ellis, a professor at King's College London who has worked at CERN since the 1970s, told AP in an interview.
"We've discovered something which is consistent with being a Higgs," he added.
Rob Roser, who leads the search for the Higgs boson at the Fermilab in Chicago, put it this way: "You see the footprints and the shadow of the object, but you don't actually see it."
Physicists seeking to discover the formation of the universe have long theorized that it came about via the so-called "Big Bang" theory - that a massive explosion triggered the process millions of years ago.
CERN's atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, has been creating high-energy collisions of protons in a bid to better help physicists understand suspected phenomena like dark matter, antimatter and the formation of the universe, AP reported.
A theory first proposed by physicist Peter Higgs and others in the 1960s said that subatomic particles, such as electrons, protons and neutrons were first formed by the interaction of particles with a key particle, the Higgs boson, through an energy field, said the report.
Through that interaction, physicists believe, the universe as we know it was formed, the report said.
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