Research, Technology

New elementary particles have been discovered. Why is it important?

We are part of the universe. And it is not just words.Every living being on our planet consists of tiny elementary particles invisible to the eye. The same goes for all visible matter that astronomers observe with telescopes. Luckily, you don't need to go on a space trip to study atoms - physicists do a great job of doing this on Earth. For example, with the help of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), accelerating particles and crushing matter into atoms. So, in recent years, the world has learned about the existence of a variety of particles - the Higgs boson, tetraquarks and anions. All these particles create the real world and can tell a lot about the structure of the Universe, for example, about the mysterious dark matter, which no one has been able to see. Researchers recently reported the discovery of a "cousin" of the Higgs boson, as well as anomalies believed to be caused by sterile neutrinos.

New elementary particles have been discovered. Is a new physics looming on the horizon?

Neutrino - mysterious quantum particles, the mass of whichdifficult to measure. Neutrinos are amazing because the mass they contain is not taken into account in the Standard Model of elementary particles, which describes the subatomic world.


  • 1 World of elementary particles
  • 2 Sterile neutrinos
  • 3 Axial Higgs boson
  • 4 Standard model forever

World of elementary particles

General relativity (GR) with incredibleaccurately describes the laws of physics both on Earth and in space. Einstein also predicted the existence of gravitational waves and black holes, although he believed that their detection was impossible. But despite the discoveries of recent years, general relativity cannot describe the entire universe.

Adds fuel to the fire quantum mechanics is a fundamental physical theory that describes nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. They are believed to permeate the universe and form the fundamental forces of nature.

Interesting fact
The main problem of constructing a scientific "theoryof all” is that quantum mechanics and general relativity (GR) have different fields of application. Quantum mechanics is mainly used to describe the microcosm, while general relativity is applicable to the macrocosm.

There are four fundamental forces or interactions - gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces. Together, they form the basis of known natural phenomena.

Recall that the Standard Model of elementaryparticles describes the electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions. Photons, for example, mediate electromagnetism, and large particles such as W and Z bosons mediate the weak nuclear force that drives nuclear decay at the subatomic level.

But the more physicists immerse themselves in the studymicrocosm, the more questions they have. And especially about neutrinos - the most common particles in nature, which cannot be seen. Most neutrinos come from the Sun, but some are produced in the upper atmosphere. In a word, modern physics cannot yet describe the entire Universe.

More on the topic: Physicists prove the existence of anyons - the third kingdom of particles

Sterile neutrinos

So, today we know about the existence of three types or varieties of neutrinos: electron, muon and tau neutrinos. Many researchers believe that there is a fourth flavor - sterile neutrinos.

These particles are named afterassumptions that they interact with other particles solely due to gravity. But the remaining three varieties can explain the nature of dark matter.

Neutrinos are among the most commonparticles in the universe, but it is difficult to catch them. Since these particles have practically no mass and electric charge. They can only be tracked by the weak nuclear force.

Dark matter - a mysterious invisible and elusive substance,which accounts for 85% of all matter in the universe. At the same time, sterile neutrinos can be one of the possible particles that make up dark matter.

The special attitude of physicists to neutrinos is due totheir strange properties - an electron neutrino can turn into a tau or muon neutrino, and vice versa. This explains an interesting quantum mechanical effect called neutrino oscillations - when one type of neutrino turns into another, or becomes an antineutrino.

Scientists around the world are looking for neutrinos

A number of anomalies identified back in the 1990s duringtime of experiments on the study of neutrinos, was confirmed by the work of 2002, as well as studies of recent years. In addition, a new experiment carried out deep underground also detected the presence of anomalies, so either sterile neutrinos really exist, or all our knowledge of physics is wrong.

Read even more interesting articles on our channel in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site.

Axial Higgs boson

The existence of the Higgs boson was predicted in1964 by theoretical physicist Peter Higgs, but the particle was discovered only at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) ten years ago. It is believed that it is the Higgs boson that gives mass to all other particles of the Standard Model and actually confirms it.

But recently physicists from Boston Universityreported the discovery of a particle related to the Higgs boson, the so-called axial Higgs boson. The researchers came to this conclusion without the help of the LHC, which is surprising. Moreover, the presence of a relative of the “God particle” indicates the shortcomings of modern physical theory, including the inaccuracy of the Standard Model of elementary particles.

By the way, it was possible to detect the "cousin" of the Higgs boson in the course of a desktop optical experiment, which was carried out on an ordinary table, reports Live Science.

Large Hadron Collider Detects Particles Predicted Decades Ago

The Standard Model includes two types of particles:bosons, which include gluons and gravitons; and fermions, which make up matter and include neutrinos, electrons, and quarks. However, the search for particles that can fully explain the nature of the universe often leads physicists to a dead end. So the researchers are expecting a new launch of the LHC after almost a three-year break and hope to find more particles that are hiding in the vastness of the universe.

See also: Physicists get more and more evidence of the existence of a new, unknown force of nature

Standard model forever

According to the authors of a scientific paper publishedin the journal Nature, the axial Higgs boson creates a magnetic field. And this particle can also be part of the dark matter that makes up most of the universe.

To discover the mysterious particle, scientistsrare-earth tritelluride, a quantum substance with a two-dimensional crystal structure, was used. In it, electrons self-organize into a wave in which the charge density periodically increases or decreases.

The Higgs boson is a particle that carries the interaction between other particles and has an inertial mass

According to the researchers, the axial Higgs bosonarose when a certain set of waves was simulated in a quantum substance at room temperature. For further observation of the new particle, physicists used light scattering.

Initially, we just exploredlight-scattering properties of this substance. But then they discovered anomalous changes that hinted at the existence of something new, the authors of the scientific work explain.

The most important thing in this story is thatthat the appearance of the axial Higgs boson is still consistent with the Standard Model of elementary particles. Theoretically, the new Higgs boson could explain the existence of dark matter. True, this requires a new theory that would be consistent with existing experiments and particles that have not yet been discovered. So it's too early to talk about new physics.

Don't miss: Particle Physics and Emerging Technologies: What's in store for us in the next 10 years?

Scientists from CERN are on the verge of discovering "new physics"

On the other hand, a number of previously publishedresearch indicates anomalies and the discovery of a new force of nature. We talked about what this force is and why physics is on the verge of change here, we recommend reading it.