Latest in Science

Image credit:

Large Hadron Collider may have detected a new particle

Unusual LHC data hints that the Higgs boson might have been just the start of major discoveries.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 16, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

The rejuvenated Large Hadron Collider might have achieved another breakthrough... provided everything lines up, that is. Two teams of CERN scientists have detected an excess of gamma ray pairs that they suspect might represent the radioactive decay of a previously unknown particle. The data is far from conclusive (there's a 1 in 93 chance that it's nothing), and the researchers don't expect to have enough data until they present at a convention next summer. However, it's rare that two groups notice the same anomaly -- that's frequently a sign that something's up.

What could it be if it's not just a fluke, then? It might be a large particle that has decayed in steps, or a relative of the legendary Higgs boson. The most exciting possibility is that it's a graviton, the massless theoretical particle that governs gravity in quantum field theory. If any of these is true, the discovery could shake up our understanding of physics. The Higgs boson was the key to filling out the commonly accepted model of how the universe works. Whatever this is, if it's anything meaningful, would go beyond humanity's current understanding.

[Image credit: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

LG's rollable OLED TV goes on sale for $87,000

LG's rollable OLED TV goes on sale for $87,000

View
AOC's 'Among Us' Twitch stream pulls in over 400,000 viewers

AOC's 'Among Us' Twitch stream pulls in over 400,000 viewers

View
GMC's 1000HP Hummer EV is an 'all-electric supertruck'

GMC's 1000HP Hummer EV is an 'all-electric supertruck'

View
Cyberpunk 2077's dialogue was lip-synced by AI

Cyberpunk 2077's dialogue was lip-synced by AI

View
iPhone 12 and 12 Pro review: Apple enters the 5G era

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro review: Apple enters the 5G era

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr