Let's get something out of the way: some of the latest results from the LHC are likely to be a statistical fluke and will vanish as the current, high-energy run starts pumping out data in earnest. In fact, when the results first started getting promoted last week, we got a copy of the paper, but we dropped it after a quick look at the abstract.
And yet here we are, covering it. What changed? As we kept following the story, it became clear that this weird, unlikely-to-be-significant bump in the data had been seen before. More than once. It's probably worth paying attention to until it goes away, because if it doesn't, it may hint at other particles out there that we have yet to discover.
The intriguing results come courtesy of the LHCb detector. Rather than search for new particles, LHCb tracks the decay of particles that contain a b quark (b stands for bottom or beauty, depending on who you talk to). These particles are well understood, so deviations from their expected behavior are relatively easy to spot. And those deviations could point to physics we haven't seen before, possibly including problems with the Standard Model of particles and their interactions.
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