Excitement builds in hunt for key particle

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GENEVA (AP) — Excitement is growing ahead of the revelation of new data by scientists seeking an elusive subatomic particle that is believed to be a basic building block of the universe.

Physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva — which oversees the world’s largest atom smasher — are set to unveil the data Tuesday.

CERN scientists have told The Associated Press that the latest information from the $10-billion Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss-French border helps narrow the region of the search for the particle known as the Higgs boson.

The long-sought particle was named for British physicist Peter Higgs, who theorized its existence more than 40 years ago to explain the puzzle of how atoms — and everything else in the universe — have weight.