LHC restart provides tantalizing hints of a possible new particle | Science News

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LHC restart provides tantalizing hints of a possible new particle

Scientists pore over data from amped-up proton collider, searching for the next big thing since the Higgs boson

5:57pm, December 15, 2015
LHC diagram

A NEW HOPE  This diagram of the CMS detector illustrates one of the proton collisions that may have produced a never-before-seen particle.

The recently souped-up Large Hadron Collider isn’t revealing the universe’s secrets yet.

Two analyses of proton collisions in the retooled LHC, which restarted at record energy in June after a two-year hiatus, have failed to yield any discoveries. The results do contain at least one intriguing hint of a new particle, researchers announced December 15 at a meeting at CERN in Geneva, but it will require more collisions to evaluate that possibility. After a successful first wave of collisions from 2010 to 2013 that uncovered the Higgs boson, physicists are hoping the revamped machine exposes new particles that would expand the standard model, the catalog of nature’s fundamental components.

LHC physicists collect and analyze the subatomic shrapnel produced when protons slam into each other at nearly the speed of light. This year, the LHC’s protons collided with 13

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