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CERN May Have Discovered New Particle, Reports Say

First Posted: Jul 07, 2016 05:31 AM EDT
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Scientists at CERN are purposely smashing particles into one another at very high speeds as they begin their new experiment called "awake," (Advanced Proton Driven Plasma Wakefield Acceleration Experiment) which uses plasma driven by a proton beam to accelerate charged particles. They are now preparing to sift through their latest batch of data from the Large Hadron Collider for information to explore.

According to Tiziano Camporesi of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, "This is the time when the probability of finding something new is highest." Located beneath the earth on the border of France and Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider is smashing protons into each other at extremely high speeds and examining particles created by these collisions. Scientists scour the debris for these smash-ups for hints of particles that were previously believed to be undiscovered.

Today, the Christian Science Monitor noted that scientists are excited about a "bump" that was detected by the CMS and its counterpart, the Atlas, in December. Scientists detected that these bumps were produced with more photon particles than expected. In fact, they saw photon pairs with a combined mass of 740 Gigaelectronvolts.

BBC News noted that the "bump" could be similar to the Higgs boson particle, but six times heavier. This is particularly exciting considering that the most accepted theory of particle physics, the Standard Model, is incapable of explaining the world around us. The bump is also particularly interesting because the Atlas and the CMS both saw a hint of it in roughly the same place - which is highly unlikely.

There is also a possibility that the new discovery could be a supersymmetric particle, confirming the theory that every Standard Model particle has an unseen partner - but scientists say that it is unlikely. Camporesi himself isn't too optimistic, saying that dark matter, if real, would be much more elusive than the Higgs Boson is.

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