Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) -- More scientists are getting closer in the search for the "God particle" of physics that would help explain the fundamentals of the universe, but they haven't found it yet.

In the hunt for the Higgs boson, which is key to understanding why matter has mass, two teams of physicists using results from a now-closed American accelerator have come up with similar findings to those announced late last year by researchers at the more powerful Large Hadron Collider in Europe. While the scientists using the two accelerators have not found the elusive subatomic particle, they both have narrowed the area where it can be found, if it exists. And they know where it isn't.

Work done in the Tevatron collider at the Fermi National Lab near Chicago provides important independent confirmation of the getting-closer announcement last year by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva, researchers said. The results from work by more than 800 scientists were to be announced in Italy on Wednesday.

"Globally the world is starting to see a consistent picture," said Fermi physicist Rob Roser, a spokesman for one team. "I don't think there's any place for the Higgs to hide. We'll know the answer one way or another by the end of 2012."

Roser said just because they have seen hints of the Higgs, it's not enough. "I'm not even willing to bet your house on it, let alone mine," he said Tuesday.

SYDNEY (AP) -- Five-time gold medalist Ian Thorpe expects to fail in his attempt to make the Australian Olympic team for London 2012, saying he may have made his return to competitive swimming too late.

A week before the Australian trials that will determine whether he qualifies for London, Thorpe told Australia's Network Ten that he doesn't have high expectations of making the team after modest results in lead-up events.

"The most realistic outcome of this is that I will most likely fail," he said in the television interview.

The 29-year-old Thorpe, who retired in November 2006 after setting 13 world records and winning 11 world championships gold medals, announced a comeback to competitive swimming nearly a year ago.

NEW DELHI (AP) -- Police arrested an Indian journalist in connection with last month's bombing of an Israeli diplomatic vehicle in New Delhi, authorities said Wednesday, the first apparent breakthrough in an attack that Israel accused Iran of orchestrating.

Though Indian authorities have not implicated Iran in the bombing, any leads that point in that direction could complicate India's delicate efforts to ward off growing Western pressure and maintain its strong economic ties with Tehran.

Energy-starved India remains a large market for Iranian oil, and those purchases could blunt the effect of intensified sanctions being imposed by the U.S. and E.U. to force Iran to roll back its nuclear ambitions.

Police arrested Syed Mohammed Kazmi on Tuesday after investigations showed he had been in touch with a suspect they believe may have stuck a magnetic bomb on an Israeli diplomat's car, police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.