In DepthParticle Physics

Excitement, anxiety greet LHC restart

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Science  13 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6227, pp. 1183-1184
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6227.1183

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Later this month, scientists at the European particle physics lab, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, will reawaken their slumbering giant, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), after 2 years of repairs. They are hoping that the past is not prologue. In July 2012, physicists at CERN scored the field's crowning achievement by discovering the Higgs boson, the particle key to explaining how other fundamental particles get their mass and the last missing piece in a 40-year-old theory called the standard model. But in its 3-year first run, the LHC also produced nothing that would point to a deeper theory. In fact, atom smashers haven't produced anything the standard model can't explain for decades. So some physicists worry that the LHC won't find anything besides the Higgs. Still, physicists say they're excited to get the LHC going again. Their list of new things to look for first has evolved since the LHC's first run.