MELBOURNE, June 20 (UPI) -- One of the most anticipated announcements in science could be imminent, that the Higgs boson may finally, really have been discovered, physicists say.
Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland have been analyzing the results of particle collision experiments since tantalizing hints of the Higgs boson turned up in December.
There is speculation LHC scientists will announce the discovery during the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Melbourne in July, Wired magazine reported.
The Higgs boson is considered the lynchpin of the Standard Model of physics, developed in the late 20th century to describe the interactions of all known subatomic particles and forces.
The Standard Model predicts many other particles, such as quarks and W bosons, each of which was found in the last four decades using enormous particle colliders, but the Higgs has eluded researchers.
Physicists have been analyzing LHC data to refine the search.
"The bottom line though is now clear: There's something there which looks like a Higgs is supposed to look," mathematician Peter Woit of Columbia University wrote on his blog.
There are rumors of new data that would be the most compelling evidence yet for the long-sought Higgs, he wrote.
The Higgs boson is critical to the Standard Model, because all the other particles are given their mass by interacting with the Higgs, physicists said.