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The Rewriting of Particle Physics....possibly:


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Newly Measured Particle Seems Heavy Enough to Break Known Physics

A new analysis of W bosons suggests these particles are significantly heavier than predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics.

hysicists have found that an elementary particle called the W boson appears to be 0.1% too heavy — a tiny discrepancy that could foreshadow a huge shift in fundamental physics.

The measurement, reported today in the journal Science, comes from a vintage particle collider at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, that smashed its final protons a decade ago. The roughly 400 members of the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) collaboration have continued to analyze W bosons produced by the collider, called the Tevatron, chasing down myriad sources of error to reach an unparalleled level of precision.

If the W’s excess heft relative to the standard theoretical prediction can be independently confirmed, the finding would imply the existence of undiscovered particles or forces and would bring about the first major rewriting of the laws of quantum physics in half a century.

“This would be a complete change in how we see the world,” potentially even rivaling the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson in significance, said Sven Heinemeyer, a physicist at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Madrid who is not part of CDF. “The Higgs fit well into the previously known picture. This one would be a completely new area to be entered.”


more at link.


OK, what will a heavier then predicted W Boson mean? Would this really rewrite particle physics?

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Masses in the standard model of particle physics come from so-called radiative corrections, which correspond to virtual processes happening all the time and contributing to the inertia of the particle. The nature of those virtual processes depends on the model of elementary particles. If you have a richer theory (more particles), the vacuum gets enriched by these new degrees of freedom, and in high-precission experiments you would be able to tell, because all the masses would be shifted by a predictible amount. It would produce small corrections, thereby the interest of the news.

The W bosons are the electrically charged messenger particles of the weak interaction. Analogous to what photons are for electromagnetism.

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