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Fast neutrinos, C-P violations, and the shrinking space for the Higgs

It has been a busy week in the world of particle physics, with attention focused on the home of the LHC: CERN. This year, the LHC generated five inverse femtobarns worth of data—nearly half the amount generated during the entire lifetime of the Tevatron—before shutting down the proton program a few weeks ago. From now until its scheduled winter shutdown, the LHC will be doing lead ion collisions to examine the quark-gluon interactions that dominated the Universe immediately after the Big Bang.

In the mean time, analysis of the data has continued, and some significant news has come out this week. A further dissection of last year's data has placed tighter limits on where the Higgs boson, which provides mass to other particles, might be hiding (assuming it exists). Meanwhile, the LHCb detector, which studies particles that contain heavy quarks, has found an anomalous behavior that might hint at physics beyond the Standard Model. And the LHC accelerator chain has sent some more neutrinos to detectors at Italy's Gran Sasso, which has helped them eliminate some potential sources of error in their faster-than-light findings. We'll take a look at each of these in turn.

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