An unusual bump in the signal of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's most powerful particle accelerator, has baffled physicists due to the inability of the Standard Model to explain the phenomenon. Following the event, University of Notre Dame researchers released a pre-peer-review paper attempting to explain the bump, pointing to the possibility of one, or maybe even two, new particles.
"It was so weird that people were forced to chuck their favorite theories and start from scratch," Adam Martin, co-author of the paper, said in a press release. "That's a fun area of particle physics. We're looking into the unknown. Is it one new particle? Is it two new particles?"
The LHC's data shows two deviations from events expected by the Standard Model, which is the theoretical foundation of particle physics. The recent paper examines four possible explanations for the deviations, one of them being a heavier version of the Higgs boson. Further research may open up doors for new models in particle physics or lead to a mundane, anticlimactic explanation, according to Martin.
"People are still cautiously optimistic," he said. "Everybody knows that with more data, it could just go away. If it stays, it's potentially really, really, really exciting."
The LHC has recently been used to recreate the state of liquid matter that was present in the early seconds of the universe shortly after the occurrence of the Big Bang, as previously reported by HNGN.
The pre-peer-review version of the paper was made available on Dec. 23 on arXiv.