Physicists have uncovered a possible flaw during a theory that explains how the building blocks of the Universe behave.
The Standard Model (SM) is that the best theory we’ve to elucidate the fine-scale workings of the planet around us.
But we’ve known a few times that the SM may be a stepping stone to a more complete understanding of the cosmos.
Hints of unexpected behavior by a sub-atomic particle called the sweetness quark could expose cracks within the foundations of this decades-old theory.
The findings emerged from data collected by researchers performing at the massive Hadron Collider (LHC). It’s a giant machine inbuilt a 27km-long circular tunnel underneath the French-Swiss border. It smashes together beams of proton particles to probe the bounds of physics as we all know it.
The mystery behavior by the beauty quark may be the result of an as-yet-undiscovered sub-atomic particle that is exerting a force.
But the physicists stress that more analysis and data are required to verify the results.
Dr. Mitesh Patel, of Imperial College London, told the News channel: “We were shaking once we first checked out the results, we were that excited. Our hearts did beat a bit faster.
“It’s too early to mention if this genuinely may be a deviation from the quality Model but the potential implications are such these results are the foremost exciting thing, I’ve done in 20 years in the field. It has been an extended journey to get here.”
There are building blocks of our world that are even smaller than the atom. Some of these sub-atomic particles are made from even smaller constituents, while others cannot be weakened into anything. The latter are known as fundamental particles.
The Standard Model describes all the known fundamental particles that structure the Universe also because of the forces they interact with.
But it cannot explain a number of the most important mysteries in modern physics, like substance or the character of gravity. Physicists know that it must eventually get replaced by a more advanced framework.
The Large Hadron Collider was built to get physics beyond the quality Model. So if the results from LHCb are confirmed they might represent a crucial discovery.
The LHCb produces sub-atomic particles called “beauty quarks”, which aren’t usually found in nature but are produced at the LHC. Sub-atomic particles undergo a process referred to as decay, where one particle transforms into several, less massive ones.
According to the quality Model, beauty quarks should decay into equal numbers of electron and muon particles. Instead, the process yields more electrons than muons.
One possible explanation is that an as-yet-undiscovered particle known as a leptoquark was involved in the decay process and made it easier to produce electrons.
Dr. Paula Alvarez Cartelle, of the University of Cambridge, was one of the scientific leaders behind the finding. She commented: “This new result offers tantalizing hints of the presence of a replacement elementary particle or force that interacts differently with these… particles.
“The more data we’ve, the stronger this result has become. This measurement is that the most vital during a series of LHCb results from the past decade that each one seems to line up – and will all point towards a common explanation.