“We have made the discovery of a new particle – a completely new particle – which is most probably very different from all the other particles. It’s nearly a once in a lifetime experience, I would say.” – Rolf-Dieter Heuer
At the end of its second, high-energy run, the Large Hadron Collider appeared to display evidence that perhaps a new particle existed at an energy of 750 GeV. The excess of twin photons produced at that energy appeared in both the ATLAS and CMS detectors, and might indicate the first particle beyond the standard model.
It might also be a little-understood feature of the standard model itself, or — perhaps most likely — it may be merely statistical noise. But perhaps the ‘nightmare scenario’ of no new particles is exactly what physics needs, to divert us away from the dead ends of naturalness, elegance, unification and greater and greater symmetries, which have borne no experimental fruits in more than 40 years.