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Originally published Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 10:08 AM

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Researchers' data are closing in on new particle

Scientists at the world's largest atom smasher say they have reams of new data that will reveal with greater certainty whether they have already glimpsed a long-sought theoretical particle that could help explain the origins of the universe.

The Associated Press

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GENEVA —

Scientists at the world's largest atom smasher say they have reams of new data that will reveal with greater certainty whether they have already glimpsed a long-sought theoretical particle that could help explain the origins of the universe.

A spokesman for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva, told The Associated Press on Thursday that scientists will release the new data early next month at a physics conference in Australia.

James Gillies said the hunt for the presumed Higgs boson is advancing in great secrecy because as researchers pore over the data "it's not yet clear exactly what they're seeing in it."

The particle's existence is theorized under the main particle physics theory that explains the Big Bang, and finding it would be considered an enormous scientific breakthrough.

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