After the Higgs, the Massive Hadron Collider was anticipated to search out different theorised particles. It didn’t, however particle physicists are optimistic a few new period of experiment-led exploration
27 June 2022
IT’S commonplace to really feel worse for put on after an enormous celebration, however I might 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 invention 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 Massive 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 assume the LHC would uncover a complete host of latest particles that will tackle a few of the greatest mysteries within the universe. However as search after search got here up empty, nervousness set in. “Now we have 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 once more, there may be renewed optimism. We’re “off the sting of the map” with no theoretical stars to information us, says Butterworth, and that’s no unhealthy 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 latest physics, but in addition as a result of there may be a lot knowledge nonetheless to return. “Thus far, we’ve barely scratched the floor,” says Butterworth. …