Discovery of New LHC Particle Likely a False Alarm

June 27, 2016 | Joanne Kennell

Photo credit: Maximilien Brice, CERN/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

This is not the news the world wanted to hear.

Remember back in December when researchers from CERN announced that their A Toroidal LHC Apparatus (ATLAS) and Compound Muon Solenoid (CMS) of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) may have discovered a new particle by accident? Unfortunately, as more data is analyzed, the spikes spotted by physicists are looking more and more like an anomaly.

What the two detectors saw were excess pairs of photons, each carrying 750 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) of energy, as the result of proton-proton collisions. Researchers believed this could have come from the decay of a new 1,500 GeV particle. The particle would be four times larger than the top quark, the heaviest particle discovered so far, and six times bigger than the Higgs boson.

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Ever since the discovery, researchers on both projects at CERN have been trying to find the bump in the data again and verify it. However, since neither team has made any results available, there is speculation that the reason is because they just have not found anything.

And according to Phys.org, we will likely continue to hear nothing until the International Conference on High Energy Physics is held in August in Chicago, Illinois.

Until an announcement is made, we can still discuss the possibility and what it would mean. The discovery of this new particle — especially one that has not been predicted by the Standard Model — would be revolutionary, spawning an entirely new branch of physics.

Although the results are starting to look bleak, we really won’t know for sure until CERN makes a statement. I guess we will have to remain patient.r

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