The two experiments that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012 contain data that may point to the existence of a boson even heavier than the Higgs. This was recently announced by both collaborations earlier in December.
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 boson. If true, 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.
Marumi Kado of the Linear Accelerator Laboratory at the University of Paris-Sud said that his experiment, ATLAS, had detected about 40 more pairs of photons than would have been expected from the predictions of the standard model of particle physics. Jim Olsen of Princeton University in New Jersey reported that CMS saw merely ten. Neither team would have mentioned the excesses had the other experiment had not seen an almost identical hint.
Experimenters have spent decades validating the standard model, and the Higgs was the last missing piece in that picture. A much heavier particle would open an entire new chapter in the field.