Physicists around the world were puzzled recently when an unusual bump appeared in the signal of the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator, causing them to wonder if it was a new particle previously unknown, or perhaps even two new particles. The collision cannot be explained by the Standard Model, the theoretical foundation of particle physics.
Adam Martin, assistant professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, said he and other theoretical physicists had heard about the results before they were released on Dec. 15, and groups began brainstorming, via Skype and other ways, about what the bump could mean if confirmed -- a long shot, but an intriguing one. He and some collaborators from Cincinnati and New York submitted a pre-peer-review paper that appeared on arXiv.org on Dec. 23.
This graph illustrates black dots that show events in experiment records compared along a red line that depicts the number expected through Standard Model processes. Two black dots don't fall in with the red line. Adam Martin says the bump at 750 is "the most exciting."
"It was so weird that people were forced to chuck their favorite theories and start from scratch," Martin says. "That's a fun area of particle physics. We're looking into the unknown. Is it one new particle? Is it two new particles?"
The paper considers four possible explanations for the data, including the possibility that it could indicate a heavier version of the Higgs boson, also commonly known as "the God particle." Further research could yield mundane explanations, Martin says, and the excitement could fade as it has many times in his career. Or it could open up new insights and call for new models.
"People are still cautiously optimistic," he says. "Everybody knows that with more data, it could just go away. If it stays, it's potentially really, really, really exciting."
Authors of paper, "On the 750 GeV di-photon excess," are Martin, Wolfgang Altmannshofer, Jamison Galloway, Stefania Gori, Alexander L. Kagan and Jure Zupan.
Adam Martin | EurekAlert!
Midwife and signpost for photons
11.12.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
New research identifies how 3-D printed metals can be both strong and ductile
11.12.2017 | University of Birmingham
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
11.12.2017 | Information Technology