Two independent research teams have found evidence of a particle that could revolutionize physics. Or they have found something else. Or nothing

Some physicists had to sit on the ground and the stairs, as representatives of the Cern yesterday reported at Geneva of their most recent works. One still has to be very careful when it comes to explaining anomaly in a data series. For it could be a pure coincidence.

“It would be huge,” Kyle Cranmer, an American physicist who is involved in the research, says to the New York Times . In any event, the rash in the data series would have happened twice. Two independent, approximately 3,000 strong research teams have emerged. Dieselben teams, CMS and Atlas, had found four references to the Higgs particle four years ago.

Heavy cousin of the Higgs particle

Now, in experiments with the upgraded particle accelerator LHC, they may have encountered the heavier cousin of the most recently discovered building block in the universe. In the records of their experiments with protons, which they collide with high energy, they found an irregularity which could point to a previously unknown particle.

It would disintegrate with the same mass in the two collisions of the protons and would be six times heavier than the Higgs particle, as the trade journal Nature . However, the statistical probability for the theory of the two photons is small. And the history of science was full of potential discoveries that dissolved in air as soon as more accurate data were available.

Possible revolution

However, the role played by the new particle is already being speculated. For Gian Francesco Gidice, a Cern theorist who does not belong to either of the two teams, it could turn everything upside down, as he says to “Nature”. For while the Higgs particle was the last missing link to validate the standard model of physics, a much heavier, new particle would open up a whole new chapter. Physicist Maxim Perelstein, however, rejects the potential particle of this revolutionary significance.

Should Gidice be right, the New York Times particle could be a quantum bearer of gravity that would determine the existence of dimensions beyond time and space. In any case, no previous model has foreseen such a particle. This is why it is so fascinating for many physicists. Some theorists had put aside their work in order to accept the possible discovery.

Already next year, there will be certainty as to whether the particle actually exists. This would be a top priority for the experiments, which will start at Cern in March 2016

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