Data taken from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland could lead us into a new era of physics, scientists claim. Physicists at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, have analyzed data collected from the LHC in 2011 and 2012 that wasn’t predicted by the standard model of physics.
The standard model of physics is a theory explaining electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear interactions and is the best explanation we have to explain how the universe works. Researchers have been using the LHC for years to detect any activity that the standard model theory can’t explain and now they have discovered a discrepancy that deals with a particle called the B meson.
The results, published in the Journal of High Energy Physics, show that the B meson was decaying at a different rate and angle than previously thought. The researchers first noticed the anomaly in 2011 and found the same occurrence happened again when analyzing data from 2012, as reported by CNN. Mariusz Witek, lead researcher at the institute, suggests that the new data could indicate a new particle entirely just like when data from the LHC lead to the discovery of the Higgs boson.
Physicists are aware that the standard model theory doesn’t account for everything we know about the universe – for example it doesn’t account for gravity – so the LHC is working hard to detect anything new. Witek states that “many questions remain unanswered”.
We know that the standard model cannot explain all the features of the Universe. It doesn’t predict the masses of particles or tell us why fermions are organised in three families. How did the dominance of matter over antimatter in the universe come about? What is dark matter? Those questions remain unanswered
Despite many remaining unanswered questions, the new data found from the LHC has excited the physics world. According to Science Alert, the LHC has been working at higher energy levels than ever before and physicists will soon obtain new data to analyze. It’s this data that could take physics to the next level. It’s been an exciting year for the physics world so far after the discovery of gravitational waves in February.