CERN has announced more than 100 new results at the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) 2016 in Chicago today, an exciting time for particles physicists everywhere, but if you were hoping for new physics you’ll be disappointed. CERN has not found any evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model.
Many were expecting a confirmation that the famous 750 GeV bump that was detected last December was a particle, but it turns out that the detection was just a fluke. It might seem peculiar that such an “almost” detection was seen by both ATLAS and CMS experiments, but they are observing so many events that statistically it is not that unusual.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) surpassed its designed operational level (or luminosity) in June, meaning it now reaches about 1 billion proton-proton collisions at highest effective energy.
“The LHC really entered a new regime by reaching its nominal luminosity, now exceeded by 20 percent,” said Frédérick Bordry, CERN Director for Accelerators and Technology, in a statement. “It’s a major achievement and we can be confident that we will go beyond our goals for the full second run of the LHC.”
ATLAS and CMS discovered the Higgs Boson in 2012, and they have been able to improve our understanding of the famous particle, as well as testing particle interactions at high mass. Physicists expect these interactions might show in the next few years some violation of the Standard Model, which is the principal theory of fundamental physics.
“This is one of the most exciting times in recent years for physicists, as we dig into the unknown in earnest: the particle physics at an energy never explored before,” said CERN Director for Research and Computing, Eckhard Elsen, in the statement.
The other two CERN experiments also reported exciting new results. LHCb, which is trying to understand why the universe is made of matter and not antimatter, has conducted experiments that showed preliminary results indicative of new phenomena. Some of these processes seem to disagree with current predictions.
And the ALICE collaboration presented new findings on quark-gluon plasma, a state that existed at extremely high energy right after the Big Bang. The researchers have calculated the viscosity of this plasma at the new energy reached by CERN, and shown that it behaves almost like an ideal liquid.
“We're just at the beginning of the journey,” said CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti. “The superb performance of the LHC accelerator, experiments and computing bodes extremely well for a detailed and comprehensive exploration of the several TeV energy scale, and significant progress in our understanding of fundamental physics.”