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The Standard Model of Physics is Incomplete – New Undiscovered Physics May be Just Around the Corner

Posted by Guy Pirro 04/24/2021 05:44PM

The Standard Model of Physics is Incomplete – New Undiscovered Physics May be Just Around the Corner

Combined results from Fermilab and Brookhaven show strong evidence that our best theoretical model of the subatomic world, the Standard Model of Particle Physics, is incomplete. The Standard Model took a long time to build. Physicist J.J. Thomson discovered the electron in 1897 and scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) found the final piece of the puzzle, the Higgs boson, in 2012. According to the Standard Model, all ordinary matter, including every atom in the periodic table of elements, consists of only three types of matter particles: up and down quarks (which make up the protons and neutrons in the nucleus) and leptons (which include the electrons that surround the nucleus). The model also explains how force carrying particles, which belong to a broader group of bosons, influence the quarks and leptons. That’s basically it. Despite its success at explaining the Universe, the Standard Model does have limits. For example, the Higgs boson gives mass to quarks, charged leptons (like electrons), and the W and Z bosons, however, we do not yet know whether the Higgs boson also gives mass to neutrinos, those ghostly particles that interact very rarely with other matter in the Universe. Now, results from the “Muon g-2 Experiment” at Fermilab seem to indicate that a new particle (or force) is showing itself by interacting with muons in an unexpected way.


Comments:

I read an article today on CNN on a new map created by scientists of the milky way. With respect to the halo, the article states, "The halo, which hosts a small population of stars, is also thought to contain a lot of dark matter. This mysterious substance, which is invisible and has eluded scientists for decades, is thought to comprise most of the mass in the universe."
https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/25/world/milky-way-galactic-halo-map-scn/index.html
As per the article posted by Guy Pirro, "According to the Standard Model, all ordinary matter, including every atom in the periodic table of elements, consists of only three types of matter particles: up and down quarks (which make up the protons and neutrons in the nucleus) and leptons (which include the electrons that surround the nucleus). The model also explains how force carrying particles, which belong to a broader group of bosons, influence the quarks and leptons. That’s basically it. "
Does the latter help to explain dark matter? Or is that one of the major limitations of the standard model? Other articles I've read that were previously posted by Guy actually question the existence of dark matter so I think I'm justifiably confused by the seemingly contradictory material I've read about it. Any updates on the latter?

Rod:

Thanks for your comments. You are not alone in feeling confused by the seemingly contradictory conclusions that are drawn from various areas of research and observations. I must admit that I also share your confusion in many of these areas. I also believe that many professional physicists who do this for a living are confused as well.

My personal opinion (and I emphasize this is just an opinion) regarding how dark matter fits into the Standard Model of Physics is actually quite simple -- It doesn't. Dark matter is the name given to an anomaly observed by astronomers. Just because one observes something strange and gives it a mysterious sounding name doesn't mean that it actually exists. And until dark matter is actually proven to exist, I don't see how physicists can force-fit it into the rather successful Standard Model of Physics.

Now regarding the new observed muon anomaly discussed in this posting with a 4.2 sigma (a little shy of the 5 sigma that scientists require to claim a discovery). This new research seems to indicate that something unexpected is occurring and new possible particles or forces may be at work. It looks encouraging, but more needs to be done.

For one thing (again, just my opinion), I am not comfortable with the fact that the same powerful magnet that was used at Brookhaven in 2001 was also used in the latest run at Fermilab. The obvious cost savings by utilizing this approach cannot be faulted, but it would have been better to use a completely independent set-up to eliminate the possibility that this observation is due to a systematic error (like something in the magnet itself). Maybe the magnet is causing the anomalous observations. That is a question that will have to be addressed.

I find Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder to be one of the best "down to Earth" and practical explainers of some of the most complex topics in advanced physics. Here is a recent video where she discusses particle physics discoveries in the past that seemed very promising at the time, but then just disappeared. In passing, she mentions this Muon g-2 Experiment.

Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks,

Guy Pirro


https://youtu.be/kGggYZTK1ik
Guy,
Thanks for your comments and for the link to the youtube video.
I, too, thought the "dark matter" would not fit into or be explained by the standard model. On the other hand, if the CNN article is correct in stating dark matter comprises most of the matter in the universe, and you suspect it to be an anomaly, well, let's just say that's one mighty big anomaly! I can understand from the video on how and why discoveries of particles come and go but most of the matter in the universe? I'm having a problem wrapping my head around that one!...


Rod:

I got a chance to read the CNN article and, to their credit, they don't present dark matter as fact, but use measured words like "the halo... is THOUGHT to contain a lot of dark matter" and "This mysterious substance, which is invisible and has eluded scientists for decades, is THOUGHT to comprise most of the mass in the universe." But I've seen many other articles that present dark matter as fact, which in my opinion is presumptuous.

I agree that the gravitational anomaly that we've labeled "dark matter" is one big anomaly, as you state. This gravitational anomaly clearly exists. I just don't believe that this gravitational anomaly is due to some mysterious matter that no one has been able to observe or detect. What we refer to as dark matter today is just a placeholder for something we just don't yet understand. I think the answer will eventually be found through a better understanding of gravity or through a better understanding of a known force that is working in an unexpected way (like unaccounted for centripetal forces in a galaxy that imitate gravitational pull and produce effects in the galactic rotation that, to an outside observer, may look like gravity).

Lots of smart people are working on this problem and I've posted a number of articles that describe some of these alternatives, the most recent being:

https://astromart.com/news/show/could-photon-mass-contribute-to-the-rotational-dynamics-of-galaxies-and-negate-the-need-for-dark-matter

https://astromart.com/news/show/scientists-find-a-way-to-scientifically-explain-why-dark-matter-is-not-there

https://astromart.com/news/show/somethings-just-not-right-with-our-current-understanding-of-dark-matter

https://astromart.com/news/show/does-modified-newtonian-dynamics-negate-the-need-for-dark-matter

Hope this helps.

Thanks,

Guy

  • ks1u [George Blahun]
  • 04/28/2021 02:57AM
Thanks for this article, Guy. I know my opinion is based on wishful thinking, but for decades I've been hoping the standard model was wrong. I would like for us to be able to travel around the galaxy at the very least, and we're not going to do that on chemical rockets. As long as there's more physics to uncover, I can hold out hope that something will be revealed which will enable that to happen.

George:

Thanks for your comment.

I wouldn't go as far as the say the Standard Model of Physics is wrong, but it is incomplete. For one thing, it does not address the force of gravity and that certainly is one big piece of the puzzle.

But I wouldn't worry... There is plenty of new physics to uncover and we'll never have all the answers. The fun will be in the journey, not just in the destination.

Thanks,

Guy