Fulfilling expectations is normally a good thing. But the fact that the newly discovered Higgs boson is behaving exactly as expected is cutting its chances of lighting a path to new physics.
The world rejoiced in July when physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN announced a new particle with some, but not all, of the properties predicted for the Higgs. It was the final member of the standard model of particle physics left to be discovered.
Questions quickly followed the confetti. The particle was not observed directly but through the particles it should decay into, not all of which were seen. This raised hopes that the Higgs might have different properties to those prescribed by the standard model. Because the model is known to be lacking – it offers no explanations for gravity or dark matter – such deviations might provide clues to these mysterious entities.