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Ten years after the Higgs discovery, what now for particle physics?

After the Higgs, the Massive Hadron Collider was anticipated to search out different theorised particles. It didn’t, however particle physicists are optimistic a couple of new period of experiment-led exploration


27 June 2022

Michał Bednarski

IT’S commonplace to really feel worse for put on after a giant celebration, however I’d guess you’ve by no means had a hangover that lasted a decade. Ten years in the past, nearly to the day, researchers gathered on the CERN particle physics laboratory close to Geneva, Switzerland, for the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson, the particle that underpins why basic particles have mass. It was an enormous triumph, each for the mathematical idea that predicted its existence and for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which revealed the Higgs by smashing protons along with record-breaking violence.

A good bit of champagne was drunk at CERN that day. However whereas the post-celebration lethargy quickly lifted, a extra lasting malaise has lingered over particle physics ever since. On the time there have been good causes to suppose the LHC would uncover a complete host of recent particles that might handle a few of the biggest mysteries in the universe. However as search after search got here up empty, anxiousness set in. “We’ve got a little bit of a hangover from the Higgs discovery,” says Jon Butterworth at College Faculty London, who works on the LHC’s ATLAS experiment. “However we’re getting over it.”

Now, because the LHC fires up again, there’s renewed optimism. We’re “off the sting of the map” with no theoretical stars to information us, says Butterworth, and that’s no dangerous factor. Certainly, the temper amongst experimentalists like me is one among rising pleasure – not solely as a result of we have already got hints of recent physics, but in addition as a result of there’s a lot information nonetheless to return. “Up to now, we’ve barely scratched the floor,” says Butterworth. …

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