Next run of proton collisions seeks signs of new physics
When researchers operating the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, outside Geneva discovered the Higgs boson, it ended a decades-long effort to fill the final gap in physicists’ catalog of matter’s particles and forces. Now comes the hard part. Physicists know that their catalog is only a start; there’s far more to the universe that needs to be explained. But the LHC’s first round of results offered no clues, no roadmap for delving beyond.
“We don’t know how to link what we know to what we don’t,” says Tara Shears, an experimental physicist at the University of Liverpool in England.
As an upgraded LHC begins collecting data from high-speed proton collisions on June 3 after a two-plus-year hiatus, physicists are anxiously wondering whether the machine’s second act will lead to discoveries of new particles and forces that add pages to the catalog. “I’m cautiously optimistic,” says Nathaniel Craig, a