A new scholarly paper has raised suspicions in boffinry circles as to whether last year's breakthrough discovery by CERN was indeed the fabled, applecart-busting Higgs boson.
The report from the University of Southern Denmark suggests that while physicists working with data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) did discover a new particle, the data might not point to the fabled Higgs boson, but rather to a different particle that behaves similarly.
"The CERN data is generally taken as evidence that the particle is the Higgs particle. It is true that the Higgs particle can explain the data but there can be other explanations, we would also get this data from other particles," said associate professor Mads Toudal Frandsen.
"The current data is not precise enough to determine exactly what the particle is. It could be a number of other known particles."
The Southern Denmark researchers suggest that the particle discovered by the LHC may not have been the Higgs boson, but rather a "techni-higgs" particle that's composed of "techni-quarks." Such a particle might behave similarly to the Higgs particle but in fact is very different from the genuine Higgs boson.
If the researchers are right, their report would discredit the claims of discovery of the Higgs boson, which has been sought because its existence would fill vital holes in the Standard Model of physics.
The researchers claim that although their findings may disprove the Higgs boson discovery, they also pave the way for the discovery of another force – one not yet uncovered – that would be responsible for binding the techni-quarks into particles, including those that form dark matter.
The group says that more data is needed to establish whether the particle observed by CERN was indeed the Higgs boson or otherwise. One way, they say, would be for CERN to build an even larger collider to better observe the particles and provide more evidence as to the existence of the theorized techni-quarks. ®