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When last we checked in on the hunt for the Higgs, physicists weren’t yet ready to call the deal done. They were only willing to say that they had discovered a new particle—some sort of boson—and that this new boson was “Higgs-like.” Their reticence hinged on the measurement of the new particle’s spin, a fundamental quality that, for bosons, must take an integer value such as 0, 1 or 2. Both in July, when the proto-Higgs was first announced, and in November, when scientists released additional data analysis, they didn’t have enough data to definitively say that the boson had a spin of zero, which a Higgs must have.
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