The answer to life and everything. Have scientists finally found the so-called 'God particle'?

Lawrence McGinty

Former Science and Medical Editor

Researchers from CERN have accelerated particles called protons in a tunnel almost to the speed of light. Credit: ITV News

The physicists trying to prove the existence of the particles that hold our world together have called a big news conference.

It will be held in Switzerland - home of the huge underground particle accelerator and it can only mean one thing, that they have found what they are looking for.

According to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42

In reality, it is much more complicated.

It is so complicated that scientists have spent £2.5bn building an underground machine on the Swiss-French border at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) to find just one part of the answer.

Their enormous detectors are looking for the Higgs boson - an elusive particle which they think creates mass in the universe.

They are due to reveal their results. But due to a technical fault, they have accidentally put a video on their website already suggesting they have found it.

Joe Incandela, experiment leader:

To find a Higgs boson you first have to make one. They have accelerated particles called protons in a tunnel almost to the speed of light and have then crashed them together, producing a shower of debris which it is hoped contains the footprints of the Higgs particle.

Researchers from CERN will make a full announcement about their discovery to the scientific community.

Their answer is unlikely to be 42.