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Evidence for new Higgs-related particle fades away

Previous data hinted that the Higgs boson might decay into something new to physics

12:42pm, September 15, 2014
ATLAS detector at Large Hadron Collider

DASHED HOPES  The ATLAS detector, seen here during construction of the Large Hadron Collider in 2007, weighs about as much as the metallic structure of the Eiffel Tower. A close look at data from the LHC finds no evidence that the Higgs boson decays into a new, unknown particle.

A fresh analysis of data from the particle collider that delivered the Higgs boson has dashed physicists’ sliver of hope that another new particle had emerged from the subatomic shrapnel.

“We’ve learned that there’s no obvious Godzilla particle hiding with the Higgs,” says Tim Tait, a theoretical physicist at the University of California, Irvine. “Now we’re going to have to look for more subtle signs of new particles.” Discovering particles beyond the Higgs could help physicists understand mysterious components of the universe such as dark matter, which holds galaxies together yet does not absorb, reflect or emit light.

In July 2012, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, near Geneva announced the discovery of the long-sought Higgs boson (SN: 7/28/12, p. 5). The Higgs had been the last particle yet to be detected among those predicted by the

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