Physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland may have detected a new massive particle that spits out two photons as it decays.
A "mysterious bump" in photon production was detected in two independent cases. Scientists got busy "checking, cross-checking and rechecking the data" and concluded that the blip may not be random. In fact, it may point to the presence of an entirely new particle, perhaps a graviton.
Both experiments have come to the same conclusion -- the bump is still there
Both [Atlas and CMS] have detected more high-energy photons in their collisions, and in both cases, they point to a new particle six times more massive than the Higgs boson. If the particle is real, physicists will be stunned. It would be the tip of an iceberg of new particles and forces.
Some have suggested that the new particle may even be a graviton, a particle that was first theorized in the 1930s but has thus far eluded researchers. Others have suggested that the new particle could be a cousin of the Higgs boson, which was finally discovered in 2012.
Speculation is rife. Some physicists suspect that the blip may be a heavier cousin of the Higgs boson, the mass-giving particle the LHC discovered in 2012. Alternatively, it could mean the Higgs itself is made up of a bunch of smaller particles. Others wonder if the bump might be a graviton, a particle that transmits gravity. That would be truly remarkable: so far, gravity has proved impossible to reconcile with theories of other particles and forces.