The two experiments that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012 have sensed an intriguing — if very preliminary — whiff of a possible new elementary particle. Both collaborations announced their observations on 15 December, as they released their first significant results since a major upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) outside Geneva, Switzerland, was completed earlier this year.
The results largely match a rumour that has been circulating on social media and blogs for several days: that both the CMS and ATLAS detectors at the LHC have seen an unexpected excess of pairs of photons, together carrying around 750 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) of energy, in the debris of their proton–proton collisions. This could be a tell-tale sign of a new particle — also a boson, but not necessarily similar to the Higgs — decaying into two photons of equal mass. If so, the particle would be about four times more massive than the next heaviest particle discovered so far, the top quark, and six times more massive than the Higgs.Six times heavier? What do you call it? The Piggs particle? To read more, click here.