One of the world's leading physicists says that 2012 is likely the year in which his team proves whether or not a theoretical particle instrumental in creating the universe actually exists.
Rolf Heuer, the director of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), told reporters, "I would say we can settle the question, the Shakespearean question - 'to be or not to be' -- by the end of next year."
The subatomic Higgs Boson particle, sometimes called the "God particle" or "creation particle," is the theoretical lynchpin of standard particle physics, the theory that explains the creation of the universe.
Heuer and his colleagues have succeeded in smashing proton beams together at record energies in an attempt to spot particle but have not yet managed to do so.
Discovery of the particle would be one of the greatest discoveries in modern science and would increase understanding of other suspected phenomena, such as dark matter and antimatter.
compiled from agency reports