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We all know and love the Higgs boson — which to physicists' chagrin has been mistakenly tagged in the media as the "God particle" — a subatomic particle first spotted in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) back in 2012. That particle is a piece of a field that permeates all of space-time; it interacts with many particles, like electrons and quarks, providing those particles with mass, which is pretty cool.

But the Higgs that we spotted was surprisingly lightweight. According to our best estimates, it should have been a lot heavier. This opens up an interesting question: Sure, we spotted a Higgs boson, but was that the only Higgs boson? Are there more floating around out there doing their own things?

Though we don't have any evidence yet of a heavier Higgs, a team of researchers based at the LHC, the world's largest atom smasher, is digging into that question as we speak. And there's talk that as protons are smashed together inside the ring-shaped collider, hefty Higgs and even Higgs particles made up of various types of Higgs could come out of hiding. [Beyond Higgs: 5 Elusive Particles That May Lurk in the Universe]

If the heavy Higgs does indeed exist, then we need to reconfigure our understanding of the Standard Model of particle physics with the newfound realization that there's much more to the Higgs than meets the eye. And within those complex interactions, there might be a clue to everything from the mass of the ghostly neutrino particle to the ultimate fate of the universe.

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Category: Science