Just over 20 years ago, Lane, along with Fermilab physicist Estia Eichten, predicted that experiments would see just such a signal. Lane and Eichten were working on a theory known as technicolour, which proposes the existence of a fifth fundamental force in addition to the four already known: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Technicolour is very similar to the strong force, which binds quarks together in the nuclei of atoms, only it operates at much higher energies. It is also able to give particles their mass – rendering the Higgs boson unnecessary.
The new force comes with a zoo of new particles. Lane and Eichten's model predicted that a technicolour particle called a technirho would often decay into a W boson and another particle called a technipion.