First experimental signs of a New Physics beyond the Standard Model

Jul 31, 2013
This is Joaquim Matias (left) and Javier Virto at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Credit: UAB

The Standard Model, which has given the most complete explanation up to now of the universe, has gaps, and is unable to explain phenomena like dark matter or gravitational interaction between particles. Physicists are therefore seeking a more fundamental theory that they call "New Physics", but up to now there has been no direct proof of its existence, only indirect observation of dark matter, as deduced, among other things, from the movement of the galaxies.

A team of physicists formed by the professor of Physics at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) Joaquim Matias, Javier Virto, postdoctoral researcher at the same university, and Sebastien Descotes Genon, from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) / Université Paris-Sud, has predicted that New Physics would implie the existence of deviations in the probability of a very specific decay of a particle, the B meson. Detecting these small deviations through an experiment would be the first direct proof of the existence of this .

On 19 July of this year, at the EPS 2013 international conference on in Stockholm, scientists at the LHCb detector, one of the large experiments being conducted by the CERN's LHC accelerator, presented the results of the experimental measurements of the B meson decay. The measurements showed deviations with respect to the predictions of the Standard Model that were previously calculated by UAB and CNRS researchers. The team of scientists have proved that all these deviations show a coherent pattern and that has allowed them to identify their origin from a unique source.

The results of their analysis point to a deviation from the Standard Model prediction of 4.5 sigmas. If confirmed, this is a major event, since scientists regard 3 sigmas as "scientific proof" of New Physics and 5 sigmas as a "discovery".

"We must be prudent, because more studies and more experimental measurements will be needed for confirmation", explains Joaquim Matias, "but if they are confirmed this is the first direct proof of New Physics, a more general theory than the current Standard Model". "If the Higgs completed the Standard Model puzzle, these findings could be the first piece in an even bigger puzzle, adds Dr Matias.

The researchers claim that one of the New Physics models that could explain these results would be the one that postulates the existence of a new particle named Zprima, "but there could be lots of compatible models", points out Dr Matias.

The findings are so interesting that scientists at the other main LHC experiment, the CMS detector, want to take these measurements. The CMS has invited Dr. Matias to explain the theoretical details in a seminar to see it the results can be corroborated. At the same time, LHCb is also adding new data to improve the statistics and confirm the measurements next March.

Also participating in the study were Javier Virto, from the UAB's Department of Physics, and Sebastien Descotes-Genon from the University of Paris-Sud 11.

Beyond the Standard Model

For years, particle have known that the theory they use, the Standard Model, despite being a very successful model in all tests carried out so far, has significant deficiencies such as lack of a candidate for . In addition, it has other problems such as the so-called fundamental problem of hierarchies or the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the universe.

Two of the central goals of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN (Geneva) are finding the Higgs boson and finding what is called New Physics, a more fundamental and general theory than that of the Standard Model in which the latter would be just one particular case. Just a year ago, the Higgs boson was discovered, but the particle seems to fit perfectly into the Standard Model and currently gives us no clues regarding New Physics.

Results presented in the EPS 2013 conference

At CERN there are four experiments, four large detectors (ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, and Alice) that record collisions between particles so that scientists can study their behaviour. The LHCb detector is designed to study the behaviour of quarks and what are known as rare decays, which are very infrequent.

On 19 July of this year, at EPS 2013, the European Physics Society's International Conference on Particle Physics, in Stockholm, Dr. Matias presented the theoretical predictions of his research team on one of these decays: that of a B meson, formed by a b quark and a d antiquark, into a pair of muons and a particle called K*. The UAB and CNRS researchers calculated and predicted how this decay should work and how it should change in different New Physics scenarios.

Shortly afterwards, an experimental physicist from the LHCb detector, Nicola Serra, presented at the same conference the first completed experimental results of that decay. Surprisingly, the experimental measurements were consistent with the deviations predicted by Joaquim Matias and his collaborators. For the first time, deviations of this type were consistent with theoretical predictions based on the presence of contributions that transcends the Standard Model.

Explore further: CERN experiments put Standard Model to stringent test

More information: — N. Serra, Studies of electroweak penguin transitions of b->smumu, talk given at EPS-HEP Conference, Stockholm, July 2013.

— J. Matias, Optimizing the basis of B->K* l+l- observables and understanding its tensions, talk given at EPS-HEP Conference, Stockholm, July 2013.

— Sebastien Descotes-Genon (Orsay), Joaquim Matias and Javier Virto (Barcelona UAB), Understanding the B->K*mu+mu- anomaly, e-Print: arXiv:1307.5683 [hep-ph] arxiv.org/abs/1307.5683

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User comments : 30

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verkle
1.2 / 5 (19) Jul 31, 2013
Of course the current model doesn't explain dark matter, because DM something that is only speculation, and not based on any direct evidence. Are we now trying to come up with a new model based on nothing?

Nonetheless, this finding is quite spectacular, and I look forward to finding another whole class of yet unknown particles.
EyeNStein
3.6 / 5 (17) Jul 31, 2013
As long as no-one calls the Zprime the Budda Particle.
Stephen_Crowley
1.6 / 5 (14) Jul 31, 2013
nothing
Electronhelix
1 / 5 (20) Jul 31, 2013
I give up ! Round and round the 'professional' Physicists go until, with luck, they will disappear along with Mathematicians who invent Time outside our own Time.
Particles are invented to explain other particle's Mass etc. So how does a photon have Mass other than by virtue of its Wave Function? Gravitational 'pull' on a photon caused by the Refraction of the photon (Time Dilation across the wave as an alternative phrase). No understanding of the behaviour of a SINGLE electron in the double slit experiment. (Interferes with itself as a Wave 'packet'.)
I suppose it allows them to pick up a wage packet?
ralph638s
1 / 5 (13) Jul 31, 2013
http://www.treurn...mpic.htm

"I have a very recent communication from one of the boys topside, to the effect that our physicists are going to carry out an experiment dealing with the lifetime of mesons at high velocities. The results of this experiment will, if interpreted correctly, establish definitely the field nature of time and the fact that it is not a constant immutable quantity. I have been requested to bring this to the attention of the scientists involved, so that they can follow up the lead to the obvious advantage of our world."
HannesAlfven
1.3 / 5 (25) Jul 31, 2013
The effort to unify physics will predictably fail, for a number of reasons:

(1) We train physicists without adequate historical context. In particular, historical debates which cast doubt upon existing dominant theories have not been taught to students in the past, nor today.

(2) Physics theories are top-down enterprises. Who will explain to Caltech and MIT (etc) that their turn is up?

(3) Critical thinking does not occur in the absence of questioning assumptions. But, in the current environment, physicists and laypeople who question the assumptions of mainstream theory are lumped together with "pseudoscientists", "crackpots" and "cranks".

(4) Either we train physicists as professionals -- who are adept at thinking within the confines of established theory -- or we train them to question the confines of that box. It's not yet clear how a hybrid program would still service the needs of the economy.

There are obviously more reasons than this, but that's for starters ...
grondilu
4.7 / 5 (12) Jul 31, 2013
(1) We train physicists without adequate historical context. In particular, historical debates which cast doubt upon existing dominant theories have not been taught to students in the past, nor today.


An accomplished physicist knows much more than what he's been taught. Do you really think no physicist is capable of paying attention to historical debates about physics, unless he is required to?
ralph638s
1 / 5 (12) Jul 31, 2013
http://www.treurn...mpic.htm

"I am well aware that regarding time as a variable places modern science in the untenable position of trying to lift itself by its bootstraps; but I can only say that these are not my ideas but originate with those to whom our science resembles medieval superstition. I do not understand them fully and I have much to learn, but I have mastered a few basic principles and of these I am sure.

[...]

The foregoing will probably sound most sacreligious to the ears of orthodoxy, but I don't mind in the least if these ideas are not immediately subscribed to. Science has a long and lurid history of reluctance to accept ideas which subsequently proved to be of great value."
shavera
4.7 / 5 (12) Jul 31, 2013
grondilu: no of course not. Physicists are just brainwashed masses who blindly follow whatever the brainwashed masses before them have done. /sarc

Still it is sad to see that the comments of this article have nothing at all to do with science and are just the several branches of pseudoscience representatives claiming how their mystical magical explanation of the world is more correct.
Ober
4.5 / 5 (8) Jul 31, 2013
That's a very professional looking link there ralph638s. Was it made in the nineties??
Amazing how the planets are not where they seem to be, yet we can send a probe, such as Voyager out to research them. Pretty amazing feat if you believe the link you posted!!!

Wake up sunshine, and stop linking non-scientific, monolithic webpages on a science site!!!
MikeBowler
1.4 / 5 (11) Jul 31, 2013
sorry just have to pop this in without reading further, they're calling this "New Physics", so scientists who have to think out the box to try and figure out what nature is upto can't even come up with a name for a new physics model? is anyone thinking that this new attempt at expanding physics is already doomed?
vacuum-mechanics
1 / 5 (21) Jul 31, 2013
Beyond the Standard Model
For years, particle physicists have known that the theory they use, the Standard Model, despite being a very successful model in all tests carried out so far, has significant deficiencies such as lack of a candidate for dark matter….

How about this simple scientific experiment below.
http://www.vacuum...14〈=en
HannesAlfven
1.3 / 5 (15) Jul 31, 2013
Re: "Do you really think no physicist is capable of paying attention to historical debates about physics, unless he is required to?"

You seem to be missing the point: An educational system that is designed to service conventional wisdom should not be expected to -- by accident, or against the grain of the system -- result in effective questioning of assumptions.

Many very intelligent people do indeed realize that they've not been informed of important context which might be relevant to critical thinking in physics. But, it matters a lot at what point a person discovers the context -- for certain questions will simply never be asked by those whose careers might be upended by the question.

Two Harvard psychologists, Kegan and Lahey, wrote a book called "Immunity to Change". In it, they suggest that the most common mistake made by leaders is to confuse an adaptive change challenge for a technical one.

Is unification really just a technical challenge, as this article suggests?
HannesAlfven
1.3 / 5 (14) Jul 31, 2013
Re: "Still it is sad to see that the comments of this article have nothing at all to do with science and are just the several branches of pseudoscience representatives claiming how their mystical magical explanation of the world is more correct."

The article presupposes that the way to fill the "gaps" in the Standard Model is to build upon what already exists, without a process of critically questioning any of that structure. Your own comment reflects this philosophy.

Jeff Schmidt (editor of Physics Today for 19 years) explained in great detail in his book, Disciplined Minds, what is wrong with the system we use to train physicists. It turned into the largest freedom of expression case in the history of the physics discipline, and exposed systemic issues which will necessarily preclude the unification of our physics theories.

This is not a technical challenge. It's an adaptive change challenge. We must change the way we think about physics -- not simply *what* we think.
ChangBroot
1 / 5 (10) Jul 31, 2013
I don't understand why they fuss about it? I think they should focus on something else, rather than these particles. I bet for THOUSANDS of GENERATIONS, human would waste Gazillion of dollars just to find the parent particle. It would seem an infinite loop. The harder we find new particles, the harder it gets to use them. I think we are already deep enough into the particles
homeunt
5 / 5 (4) Jul 31, 2013
The importance is that the theories taught in school are most current and most valid and dominant theory to explain the current understanding of the world. Such as General Relativity, QM and the Standard Model.

All physicists are taught classical physics, mechanics and then up to most current theories such as the Standard Model, and super symmetry they eventually will be replaced by a new and more valid theory. It's a garunteed fact that this will require a very long time and great patience. There will definately be many invalid theories with diappointing results but will most definitely provide us a new spectrum of knowledge [e.g. Michelson-Morley]

I mean our current knowledge in physics provides us great amount of information to advance in technology but there are so much more room for improvement.

Any initiatives for experimenting theories beyond current understanding should only be encouraged. Personally I think gravity should be better understood than now.
Gmr
3.3 / 5 (12) Jul 31, 2013
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around inertia, frame reference and rest mass. I'll admit I have little to no knowledge of the standard model beyond a passing familiarity with some really basic chromodynamics, and have yet to understand a Riemann field equation, if I even got the term right.

I find a lot of the cranks on here, though, seem to understand less than me, and I wonder how they can look themselves in the face in that bathroom mirror every evening and whisper quietly, lovingly - "I'm right and nobody else seems to realize it."
PhotonX
4.2 / 5 (10) Aug 01, 2013
That's a very professional looking link there ralph638s. Was it made in the nineties?...stop linking non-scientific, monolithic webpages
Hey, now! Don't be hating on ralph638s. His info is based on hints dropped directly by extraterrestrial space people, via Tensor Beam! It says so right in the link. It's not the ramblings of a deranged psychotic lunatic totally detatched from reality. From the webpage: "The tempic field idea is a thread that permeates all the other threads" Does that sound familiar? Like The Force? Huh? "Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together." How could George Lucas possibly have known that unless he too was in contact with the space people himself? Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn't just talking shit! Ralph's link wasn't written in the nineties, it was written a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. If that isn't proof, I don't know what is.
PhotonX
4.5 / 5 (8) Aug 01, 2013
I don't understand why they fuss about it? I think they should focus on something else, rather than these particles. I bet for THOUSANDS of GENERATIONS, human would waste Gazillion of dollars just to find the parent particle. It would seem an infinite loop. The harder we find new particles, the harder it gets to use them. I think we are already deep enough into the particles
The electron was discovered in 1897, the proton in 1920. So at most we've been at it for four or five generations, three since the cyclotron. From this you can project THOUSANDS of generations of apparently useless work? Never mind that basic science and technology advances humankind in ways we can but dream of. Seems worth it to me. Besides, in a thousand generations a gazillion dollars will be about $20 in today's money, just the cost of an algayeastburger and an 11-D holoshow. So relax. Research is good. Knowledge is a fine thing to give the grandkids, much better than an old set of nuclear weapons.
PhotonX
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 01, 2013
I find a lot of the cranks on here, though, seem to understand less than me, and I wonder how they can look themselves in the face in that bathroom mirror every evening and whisper quietly, lovingly - "I'm right and nobody else seems to realize it."
You wouldn't say that if you were in touch with the extraterrestrial space people, and could feel the power of the intergalactic electric currents for yourself. Come closer. Just let nice Mr. Kahn slip this Ceti eel in your ear, and then you will understand.
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (13) Aug 01, 2013
so scientists who have to think out the box to try and figure out what nature is upto can't even come up with a name for a new physics model?

Let them first find out if it's worth naming. But basically scientists are exceptionally unimpressed by 'impressive labels'. In science it's the content that counts. Making up fancy names is usually the hallmark of crank science.

An educational system that is designed to service conventional wisdom should not be expected to -- by accident, or against the grain of the system -- result in effective questioning of assumptions.

Good thing then that in higher learning institutions (especially in the sciences) critical thinking is taught as a matter of course.

Many very intelligent people do indeed realize that they've not been informed of important context which might be relevant to critical thinking in physics.

Those people tend to go out and look for answers where the 'old' wisdoms don't work. We call those people: scientists
alfie_null
4.7 / 5 (6) Aug 01, 2013
Articles like this; flypaper for cranks. Caught a couple new ones with this write-up, I see.

Likely casting no small amount of envy at these researchers, seeing them presenting at a conference, getting the attention of other scientists and the rest of the world, rather than receiving scorn and derision.
ralph638s
1 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2013
Ha, my tongue is almost always in my cheek. Those quotes I posted were from the early 60's, a Canadian radio engineer, Wilbert Smith, who claimed to be involved in reverse engineering (for the Canadian govt) alien UFO technology. I was reminded of that bit about measuring meson decays when I read this current article. It should be interesting to see how the results of these new experiments will be interpreted...
MikeBowler
1.4 / 5 (5) Aug 01, 2013
so scientists who have to think out the box to try and figure out what nature is upto can't even come up with a name for a new physics model?

Let them first find out if it's worth naming. But basically scientists are exceptionally unimpressed by 'impressive labels'. In science it's the content that counts. Making up fancy names is usually the hallmark of crank science.

the name doesn't have to be impressive or fancy, thats not what i was suggesting, i was just suggesting that they give it a proper name because "New Physics" isn't a name it's just what it is, it is new, now granted we're just scratching the surface and perhaps in the wrong places but it's obvious that in the future there will be a new physics model and it needs a name, scientists should be more than capable of naming it and i just didn't understand why they hadn't, at current it may not seem like it is not worth naming but tomorrow some major breakthrough could crack this whole thing wide open
rkolter
2 / 5 (5) Aug 01, 2013
I throughly enjoyed this article and found it fascinating.

Then, I stumbled on this line: "The LHCb detector is designed to study the behaviour of quarks and what are known as rare decays, which are very infrequent."

And I laughed. Rare Decays are very infrequent. Nice to know.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3.5 / 5 (6) Aug 01, 2013
The short version:

No experimental signs as of yet (not the necessary 5 sigma). Nothing new here, let's move on.

The longer version:

The abstract reveals that the experimental evidence isn't 4.5 sigma but actually 3.7 when using all observations. That is a _decrease_ from earlier observations (p2), which usually means there is nothing here. Oh, well.

Other funny claims is that this would be the first experimental evidence for physics beyond SM. We have observed dark matter, the neutrino oscillations so neutrino masses, inflation so the inflaton field and its particles, all non-SM.

And perhaps one should include the Higgs field with its 125 GeV Higgs particle. (Which particle is perhaps standard, not fully ascertained yet but also not pertinent here.)

[tbctd]
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3.8 / 5 (4) Aug 01, 2013
[ctd]

The Higgs field has a quasistable vacuum behavior, where the vacuum has a finite lifetime. (Not fully ascertained yet but also not pertinent here.)

That behavior places a "real" vacuum Higgs particle at near Planck scales. That is non-SM territory, even if non-SM effects may remove the 2nd local minima of the field potential.

On another note, it is refreshing as always (not), to see the crank parade out in full strength. And on top, a creationist troll which doesn't know anything about science sees the parade off.

I especially liked the EUrghist claiming that a historically very useful research program/work strategy is a "philosophy". How inane!

Flypaper for cranks, indeed.

@MikeBowler: They are, so far unsuccessfully, looking at deviations from the standard model of particles. They don't necessarily know what kind of physics, what new theory, so can't name it. It is a descriptive term.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3.8 / 5 (4) Aug 01, 2013
@Franklins: Those are not the same observations. The Bs -> uu decay is "considered as one of the most stringent tests of the Standard Model". And SM passed it with ease. [ http://lhcb-publi...-public/ ]

If you go further down on that page, you come to the B -> Kuu decay discussed here. Evidently, which is not what the current post is about, there is an "unexpected resonant structure" (a particle) at 6 sigma just found. "Precise study of this decay could uncover a possible contribution from new physics." But that resonance (there seems to be two) seems to be a composite SM particle (Phi(4160)) by itself, so as I understand it its _decay_ is considered something similar to the Bs -> uu decay.
Urgelt
5 / 5 (3) Aug 05, 2013
Crank: "My theory is right and you're all stupid."

Scientist: "The mainstream theory seems to fit the evidence, but let's get more evidence and try to show how it's wrong."

Crank: "You can't see past your own bias!"

Scientist: "I have a preference. But I'd love to see my preference wrecked by evidence, because that would bring us closer to nature's truth."

Crank: "YOU AREN'T LISTENING TO ME!"

Scientist: "Peer review is where we attempt to sort out the crap from work that conforms to the scientific method, so publish in a peer-reviewed journal. I'll be glad to listen then."

Crank: "THEY WON'T PUBLISH ME! THEY'RE BIASED!"

Scientist: "They won't publish you because you aren't conforming to the scientific method."

Crank: "TRUTH IS WHAT I SAY IT IS!"

Scientist: "You are sadly delusional. Nobody fully understands nature's truth. A sure sign of a broken mind is the declaration you just made."

Crank: (Censored profanity)

Scientist: "Grow up."
Dr_McFoo
1 / 5 (1) Aug 05, 2013
"You seem to be missing the point: An educational system that is designed to service conventional wisdom should not be expected to -- by accident, or against the grain of the system -- result in effective questioning of assumptions."

All educational systems teach "the conventional wisdom" what else should they teach?

Even if there is "new physics" it doesn't always invalidate the current knowledge. Copernicus DID invalidate the old knowledge, Einstein did not (at least not completely).

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