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Scientists: Evidence points to elusive building block of universe

ASPEN, Colo. — Physicists said Wednesday they had discovered a subatomic particle that looks like the Higgs boson, a potential key to understanding why elementary particles have mass and indeed to the existence of diversity and life in the universe.

‘‘I think we have it,’’ Rolf-Dieter Heuer, the director general of CERN, said in an interview from his office outside Geneva, calling the discovery ‘‘a historic milestone.’’

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