Scientists believe they have captured the elusive "God particle" that gives matter mass and holds the physical fabric of the universe together.
The historic announcement came in a progress report from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the £2.6 billion "Big Bang" particle accelerator at the centre of the hunt for the Higgs boson.
Professor John Womersley. chief executive of the Science and technology Facilities Council, told reporters at a briefing in London: "They have discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson.
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