In July, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of a new particle that looked like the Higgs boson. This particle was never perfect; but based on the available data, it looked exactly what the Standard Model of Particle Physics predicted the Higgs would look like.
This week, physicists working at the LHC shared more data from their Higgs projects. The LHC can’t observe the Higgs directly, but scientists can count up the number of particles that detectors observe and tease out of those that may have existed momentarily before the Higgs decayed. Any deviation in these expected numbers would indicate something happening beyond the Standard Model.
The results presented at the Hadron Collider Physics symposium in Kyoto, Japan, have all been within the Standard Model. Physicists at ATLAS and CMS have double the amount of data they had back in July and the data remains consistent with the announced findings of a Higgs-like particle.
In July, physicists found that the Higgs decayed into two photos slightly more often than it was expected to. This could possibly hint at new physics. It could also have been a statistical inconsistency that would wash away as more data becomes available.
[via Scientific American]