- Pallab Ghosh
- BBC News Science Correspondent
Physicists working on the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, have discovered a possible flaw in a theory that describes how the building blocks of the universe behave – a name given to microparticles smaller than atoms.
The theory, known as the Standard Model, is the best answer that humanity must date to explain the functioning of the world around us on an accurate scale.
But we have known for some time that the standard model is just the starting point for a more complete understanding of the universe.
The novelty is that evidence of the unpredictable behavior of a sub-atomic particle called a quark bottom may uncover a rift in the foundations of this theory that has existed for decades.
The findings came from data collected by researchers working on the Large Hadron Collider. The collider is a giant machine built in a 27-km circular tunnel under the France-Swiss border.
As we know it breaks the beam of proton particles to discover the limits of physics.
The mysterious behavior of the bottom quark may be the result of an unseen subatomic particle. This will be the spread of unexpected force by scientists.
But physicists emphasize that more analysis and data are needed to confirm any result. Mitesh Patel of Imperial College London showed the importance of discussion for the scientific community in an interview with BBC News.
“We were shivering when we first saw the results. We were very excited. Our hearts were beating fast,” he said.
“It is too early to say if this is really a departure from the standard model, but the possible implications are that these results are the most exciting thing I’ve found in the field in 20 years. It’s a long journey. Here.”
According to science, the particles known as the building blocks of our world are smaller than atoms.
Some of these sub-atomic particles are, in turn, also made of smaller components, while others cannot be broken into smaller parts. The latter are known as fundamental particles.
The Standard Model describes all the known fundamental particles that make up the universe, as well as the forces with which they interact.
But he cannot explain some of the greatest mysteries in modern physics, such as the so-called “dark matter” or the nature of gravity. Thus, physicists already know that the standard model will need to be replaced at some points by more advanced ideas.
The Large Hadron Collider was designed to understand physics beyond the standard model.
Such sub-atomic particles, called “bottom quarks”, are formed by accelerators and are generally not found in nature. They undergo a process called decay, in which a particle turns into several smaller ones.
According to the standard model, the bottom quarks must decay to the same number of particles of electrons and muons (an elementary particle similar to the electron).
Instead, however, the process produces more electrons than muons.
One possible explanation is that an undiscovered particle, known as a leptoquark, is involved in the decay process and eases the electron.
Paula Alvarez Cartel, from the University of Cambridge, was one of the scientific leaders behind the discovery.
He commented, “This new result indicates the presence of a new particle or fundamental force that interacts with these particles in a different way.”
“The more data we have, the stronger this result becomes. This measurement is the most important in a series of results discovered with accelerators over the past decade and those that seem to be aligned. Together, those one May indicate general explanation. “
The scientist, however, is cautious.
“The results have not changed, but their uncertainty has decreased, which has increased our ability to see potential differences with the standard model.”
In particle physics, the gold standard for a discovery is a level known as Five Sigma, with 3.5 million having a chance that the result is just chance. The measure of the accelerator is three sigma – meaning that there is approximately a chance in thousand that the measurement is a statistical coincidence.
Therefore, people should not participate in these findings, according to Professor Chris Parks, team leader at the University of Manchester.
“We may be on the way to a new era of physics, but if we are, we are still relatively low at this point in the beginning. We have already seen results of this importance, so we should be cautious., ” They said.
But if the Great Collider is restarted next year, it is confirmed by further analysis and data, it could be one of the biggest recent discoveries in physics, according to Constantino Petridis of the University of Bristol.
“The discovery of a new force in nature is the sacred grave of particle physics. Our current understanding of the components of the universe is remarkably inadequate – we do not know what constitutes 95% of the universe or why there is an imbalance in matter and antimatter.” in between. “
The results were presented for publication in Nature Physics.
You have already watched our new videos YoutubeThe Subscribe to our channel!