New particles get a mass boost

Oct 01, 2007

A sophisticated, new analysis has revealed that the next frontier in particle physics is farther away than once thought. New forms of matter not predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics are most likely twice as massive as theorists had previously calculated, according to a just-published study.

The discovery is noteworthy because experimental improvements of this magnitude rarely occur more often than once in a decade.

To see the infinitely small bits of matter that make up our universe, physicists build ever more powerful accelerators, which are the microscopes they use to see matter. But while the trend is to more powerful accelerators, the precision achieved by some less powerful ones can pinpoint the best places to look for never-before-seen particles.

Scientists at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility combined data from experiments in which electrons were used to precisely probe the nucleus of the atom. The experiments were designed to study the weak nuclear force, one of the four forces of nature. The effects of the weak force on the building blocks of the proton, up and down quarks, were determined precisely from this data and were found to be in agreement with predictions.

But when this new analysis was combined with other measurements, it raised the predicted mass scale for the discovery of new particles to about one Tera-electron-volts (1 TeV) - more than a factor of two higher than previously thought, according to Jefferson Lab scientists who published the result in Physical Review Letters.

Searches for new particles can take the form of direct production of new particles by high-energy interactions or by lower-energy, extremely precise measurements of experimental observables, which are sensitive to the existence of new particles beyond the ability of existing theories to predict.

Source: Jefferson Lab

Explore further: How the hummingbird achieves its aerobatic feats

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Team creates Milky Way structure simulations

Nov 18, 2014

If you took a photograph of the Milky Way galaxy today from a distance, the photo would show a spiral galaxy with a bright, central bar (sometimes called a bulge) of dense star populations. The Sun—very ...

Elusive dark matter may be detected with GPS satellites

Nov 17, 2014

The everyday use of a GPS device might be to find your way around town or even navigate a hiking trail, but for two physicists, the Global Positioning System might be a tool in directly detecting and measuring ...

Recommended for you

Measuring NIF's enormous shocks

18 minutes ago

NIF experiments generate enormous pressures—many millions of atmospheres—in a short time: just a few billionths of a second. When a pressure source of this type is applied to any material, the pressure ...

How the hummingbird achieves its aerobatic feats

22 hours ago

(Phys.org) —The sight of a tiny hummingbird hovering in front of a flower and then darting to another with lightning speed amazes and delights. But it also leaves watchers with a persistent question: How ...

New terahertz device could strengthen security

Nov 21, 2014

We are all familiar with the hassles that accompany air travel. We shuffle through long lines, remove our shoes, and carry liquids in regulation-sized tubes. And even after all the effort, we still wonder if these procedures ...

CERN makes public first data of LHC experiments

Nov 21, 2014

CERN today launched its Open Data Portal where data from real collision events, produced by experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will for the first time be made openly available to all. It is expected ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.