2018 preview: Last chance for new physics at the LHC for years

It is almost six years since the LHC spotted the Higgs boson, and the collider will soon shut down for upgrades. Will it find anything else?

Stay on the edge of your seat. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will keep smashing particles until the end of 2018, although this will be our last chance for a while to see a new particle emerge from the cloud of collisions. A year from now, the atom smasher will shut down for two years of upgrades.

With the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, the LHC completed the menagerie predicted by the standard model of particle physics. It was a victorious moment, but we haven’t seen anything as monumental since. We know that there is exotic physics lurking beyond the standard model; dark matter and dark energy have not yet been explained. But the LHC has not seen signs of either – yet.

“It’s like we’ve done a corner of a puzzle, but we don’t know what the picture on the box looks like and we don’t know what the rest of the pieces are,” says Claire Lee, a physicist at CERN. If new

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