Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have seen several candidates for the heaviest elementary particle known to science.
If the observations are confirmed, it would be a first for Europe; so far, the top quark particle has only been generated by one lab in the US.
Dr Arnaud Lucotte said the discovery could assist physicists in the hunt for the elusive Higgs boson, or "God particle".
Details of the top quark candidates were presented at a major particle physics conference in Paris.
The International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) runs from 22-28 July.
The Large Hadron Collider is operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern), based in Geneva.
The LHC is a giant accelerator machine housed in a 27km-long (17 miles) tunnel under the French-Swiss border.
Two beams of proton particles are fired around the giant subterranean "ring" and smashed together at crossing points located around the tunnel.
Giant experiments are located at these crossing points to look for new particles in the sub-atomic wreckage of the collisions.
By Paul Rincon Science reporter, BBC News, Paris
Full Article/Source - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10746900