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Higgs Boson Confirms Reigning Physics Model Yet Again

For a subatomic particle that remained hidden for nearly 50 years, the Higgs boson is turning out to be remarkably well behaved.

Yet more evidence from the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland, confirms that the Higgs boson particle, thought to explain why other particles have mass, acts just as predicted by the Standard Model, the dominant physics theory that describes the menagerie of subatomic particles that make up the universe.

"This is exactly what we have expected from the Standard Model," said Markus Klute, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the researchers involved in the Higgs search.

The new results show that the Higgs boson decays into subatomic particles that carry matter called fermions — in particular, it decays into a heavier brother particle of the electron called a tau lepton, Klute said. This decay has been predicted by the Standard Model. Even so, the findings are a bit of a disappointment for physicists who were hoping for hints of completely new physics.

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