Thursday, September 16

The Standard Model is dying

Last March, a team of physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva announced that they had detected an unusual signal in their data that may be the first consistent indication of an entirely new physics.

The discovery opened a blowjob in the Standard Model, the manual that describes the nature of elementary particles and the forces with which they interact.

Less than a month later, the North American high-energy physics laboratory Fermilab, which has the second most powerful particle accelerator in the world, confirmed the need to reconstruct the model that describes all elementary particles.

Now, a new discovery made at the University of Bonn suggests the same thing: The Standard Model is getting too small for everything we are observing in different laboratory experiments. It seems its expiration date is approaching.

Subatomic earthquake

Subatomic earthquake In the first experiment (LHC), unexpected behavior was observed in a subatomic particle called the background quark, also known as the beauty quark.

The unexpected behavior or anomaly recorded in the beauty quark could be the result of its interaction with another unknown subatomic particle that exerts an imprecise force on that particle.

In the second experiment (Fermilab) fundamental particles called muons appeared that behave in a way not predicted by the Standard Model.

The new measurement obtained in this experiment showed that the Standard Model alone cannot explain it. It is convincing proof of the New Physics, its discoverers emphasize.

Related topic: Checkmate the Standard Model that explains the universeRelated topic: Checkmate the Standard Model that explains the universe

Cosmic rays involved

Cosmic rays involved The third experiment at the University of Bonn goes in the same direction: it has also found something that does not fit with what the Standard Model describes.

Observing some particles that are part of cosmic rays called kaons, the scientists discovered that the measure of their instability does not fit the parameters of the Standard Model either, a clear indication that there is new Physics yet to be discovered. release.

What then is happening? Well, the elementary particles are not behaving as they should, which means that the manual known as the Standard Model is incomplete.

Prudent doubt

Prudent doubt Although none of these experiments can still be considered definitive, the doubt about what we really know about the world is settled in the scientific community.

The doubt is not without caution, because until now the Standard Model has survived all the experimental tests since it took shape between 1970 and 1973.

Even in 2011, a strange discovery that a particle called a neutrino seemed to travel faster than light threatened the Model.

However, it was eventually discovered that this anomaly was the result of an electrical connection problem that occurred during the experiment. Relief.

Startle ATLAS

Startle ATLAS Another shock occurred this week during TOP2021 (14th International Workshop on Top Quark Physics): the ATLAS experiment, one of the seven accelerators built at the LHC, ad have probed the heaviest known elementary particle, the top quark, for possible anomalies.

He confirmed that the anomalies exist, although adding that the discrepancies observed in this particle with the Standard Model are not significant.

However, he also recognized the possible existence of new particles and interactions that supposedly could cause the anomalies, although without having very large effects on the behavior of these quarks.

In other words, the mystery particles could exist, but without disturbing the elementary particle manual too much.

Follow the nightmare

Follow the nightmare The nightmare does not end here: scientists from the University of Chicago and Darmstadt Technical University they denounce also a new type of symmetry in Physics that is not contemplated in the Standard Model.

The question, formulated by three relevant physicists, is in the air: what could all this mean for the future of fundamental physics?

If what we are seeing is really the harbinger of some new fundamental particles, it will finally be the breakthrough that physicists have been yearning for for decades, they respond.

The best of all

The best of all If that is the case, they add, we are looking at a part of the picture that lies beyond the Standard Model, which could ultimately allow us to unravel a number of mysteries.

And they conclude: these mysteries include the nature of the invisible dark matter that fills the universe, or the nature of the Higgs boson.

It could even help theorists to unify fundamental particles and forces. Or, perhaps best of all, it could be pointing to something we’ve never considered.

For something Nature says that physicists are ecstatic.


References High-precision determination of the Ke3 radiative corrections. Chien-YeahSeng et al. Physics Letters B, Volume 820, 10 September 2021, 136522. DOI:

Top quark angular correlations at LHC with ATLAS and CMS. James Howarth, James William Howarth. 14th International Workshop on Top Quark Physics (TOP2021). 13 sept. 2021.

Unnuclear physics: Conformal symmetry in nuclear reactions. Hans-Werner Hammer and Dam Thanh Son. PNAS August 31, 2021. 118 (35) e2108716118. DOI:

Top Image: Early Universe. NASA / ESA

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