(Mirror Daily, United States) – It’s been a while since the Large Hadron Collider has been turned on again, and now scientists report something mysterious to have happened while they were working on it. If you’re wondering what “something” means, so do the scientists. It’s either revolutionary or nothing.
Unmatched in size, the world’s biggest particle accelerator might be hinting of discovering an entirely new fundamental particle. Or, as scientists are trying to figure out, it might be seeing ghosts and nothing has been found.
Even if this turns out to be a big, fat nothing, that didn’t stop particle physicists from writing an entire body of literature that coincides with the new experimental results, throwing around different ideas and theories about what might be brewing inside the LHC.
Some of the new theories suggest new flavors of the Higgs boson – the tiny particle recently discovered with the LHC’s help – while others propose the particle could be a candidate for dark matter.
Nine premise studies were posted on the ArXiv, a repository where all scientists can upload their work in order to get feedback from others in their field ahead of publication.
If a new particle has actually been found, or if dark matter will be confirmed, it would mean the end of the Standard Model, the current model of particle physics, which will need to be either extended or replaced.
Alternatives to the Standard Model do exist, especially since some physicists think its theory is incomplete. However, the success of the Standard Model cannot be denied – it’s the very theory that predicted the Higgs boson, which has prompted scientists to wonder about the nature of what they are seeing.
Whether the “events” observed by physicists hint to a new particle predicted by the model or to something else entirely will be confirmed by the tests of time, but many are rather skeptical. According to Peter Woit, a Columbia University mathematician, the likelihood is greater for the events to die down than to survive.
If you’re wondering what the “events” are, physicists explain them as a measure of a discovery. When it comes to particle accelerator experiments, a new finding is tested by the number of “events” associated with it, or how many particles scientists see streaming out of the collisions between two protons.
The rate of these “events” also hints at the validity of a finding, and if it describes a smooth curve up, then physicists know they are unto something. So it might be dark matter, and the fact that both detectors got a reading makes the detection important.
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