Researchers say a plan to shut down the particle accelerator at the end of 2012 for a major refit has been put off because it is performing so well, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.
The delay will give scientists another year to continue experiments with the collider running at half power before it is shut down for 15 months, after which it will be restarted at full power, the British newspaper said.
Currently, the machine, located underground near Geneva, Switzerland, is running at 3.5 TeV (trillion electron volts) but is designed to operate at a maximum of 7 Tev.
Even at half power, some scientist say they may have enough data by the end of the year to either confirm or reject theories about the Higgs Boson, dubbed the "God Particle" because of its central, fundamental importance to core theories of physics.
If the "Higgs" is not found, physicists say they may have to reassess the "Standard Model," the theory of subatomic structure that ranks as one of physics' greatest achievements.
Failing to confirm the Higgs boson could be more intriguing than finding it, some scientists say.
"If we don't see it, we will be very excited, because it means that there's something very brand-new," collider researcher Nicholas Hadley from the University of Maryland said.
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