Is the Higgs Boson Acting Weird Again at the LHC?


Bild: LHC Genf
Bild: LHC Genf
Though no one could really say what it was specifically, the Large Hadron Collider’s 750 GeV diphoton bump registered at least one unambiguous conclusion for physicists: they’d found something new. In the showers of proton collision byproducts that occurred during the 2015 run of CERN’s ATLAS and CMS experiments, it seemed there was a new particle.

By Michael Byrne | MOTHERBOARD

2016 data, however, failed to replicate the bump, indicating that the earlier observations were just statistical fluctuations. This has resulted in a generally grim attitude shared by many researchers in high-energy physics: The LHC managed to bag the Higgs boson, yes. But bagging New Physics, the presence of a particle or interaction so-far unknown? Not so much.

Yet, just as the diphoton bump was being kicked to the curb, a potential new strangeness emerged at the LHC, albeit one that’s less plainly seen. This has to do with a process known as tth (top-top-Higgs), which is an alternative mode of Higgs boson production that results in the creation of Higgs particles alongside pairs of top quarks, the heaviest known fundamental particles.

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