Scientists may have found a particle six times heavier than the Higgs bosonby Philip Ball / March 18, 2016 / Leave a comment
From here on, it’s mostly guesswork and empiricism for particle physics. Informed guesswork, naturally—no field of science is better adapted to doing theory with minimal experimental data to guide it. But now that the Higgs boson has completed the Standard Model—the enumeration of all known subatomic particles and the interactions between them—what comes next is unknown. It will be largely a question to what experiments turn up. And none comes with higher expectations than those conducted at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which is currently undergoing test runs after an upgrade to take its particle collisions to even higher energies. The LHC will begin collecting data again in April.
Many particle physicists are now hoping to find evidence for the favourite candidate theory that takes physics beyond the Standard Model, called supersymmetry. This posits a fundamental relationship between the two currently distinct families of particle types, called bosons and fermions. If it h…