New experiments and research is always pushing the limit of acknowledged theories until we reach at a level where they don’t work anymore. And the new results from CERN show that we might be on the verge of new physics. The new data from CERN looks at a distinct particle called a B meson. The present theory of particle physics, the Standard Model, has very definite predictions on the frequency and angle at which the B meson decays, but it just doesn’t match what has been observed in the experiment.
Image: Computer recreation of unusual decay of Bs meson in the LHCb detector. CERN
The Standard Model of Physics puts all the acknowledged subatomic particles into a single most crucial theory. There are six quarks (up, down, charm, strange, top, bottom), six leptons (electrons, muons, tau, and their corresponding neutrinos), the particles which carry the force (gluons, photons, Z and W bosons) and the Higgs boson. The B meson is a product of a down quark and a bottom antiquark, and once made, it decays in only 0.0015 nanoseconds.
According to present theory, the B mesons can decay into different and definite sets of particles. These two particles will have a definite energy and will be released at a certain angle. However, this experiment showed proof for a type of decay that was not observed before and that was not projected by the model.
“Up to now all measurements match the predictions of the Standard Model. However, we know that the Standard Model cannot explain all the features of the Universe,” Professor Mariusz Witek, one of the co-authors of the research paper, said in a statement. “How did the dominance of matter over antimatter in the universe come about? What is dark matter? Those questions remain unanswered. What's more, the force we all experience every day, gravity, isn’t even included in the model.”
Even though this paper, issued in the Journal of High Energy Physics, is certainly promising, the detection is not yet a discovery. The signal was perceived with a confidence level of 3.4 sigmas. Physicists only admit a discovery after it passes the 5 sigma mark, this means that we have a probability of less than one in 3.5 million that the discovery is just a fluke.
CERN has now imitated a new stage of high-energy collisions that will optimistically deliver an insightful look into the potential bold new world beyond the Standard Model.