There may be two Higgs bosons, not one
Latest release from the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) has indicated that scientists have found two particles contending for the title of Higgs boson.
Scientists studying data from the Large Hadron Collider who this summer announced the possible discovery of the Higgs boson have now said that their data contains two clear peaks indicating new particles, the Daily Mail reported.
Researchers at Cern in July announced that they believed their experiments had finally revealed the Higgs. But as Scientific American explains, their findings were far from definite.
The Higgs they found appeared to show that the Higgs seemed to be decaying into two photons more often than they had expected - hinting at a new, as yet unimagined physics.
Last week scientists with the project's Atlas experiment finally admitted that the bizarre revelations from their data - that there appears to be not one Higg's boson signal, but two.
There seems to be one version of Higgs boson with a mass of 123.5 gigaelectron volts (the unit particle physicists prefer using to measure mass) and a second Higgs with a mass of 126.6 GeV.
And if there are in fact more than one Higgs boson particles, as the latest results seem to show, it could lead to a new understanding of dark matter, the mysterious substance thought to make up a large portion of the mass of the universe.
Scientific American reports how the Atlas team have spent the past month trying to find out whether they had made a mistake in their analysis. They have so far found none, raising the possibility that there may indeed be two Higgs bosons.
For the moment, the scientists at Cern are not too concerned.
Tommaso Dorigo, an experimental particle physicist on the projects CMS experiment says it is likely to turn out to be a blip.
"This is normal business - if we had to get excited at every slight disagreement between our measurements and our expectations, we'd be sick with Priapism (sorry ladies for this gender-specific pun)," he wrote in his blog.