“I often feel a discomfort, a kind of embarrassment, when I explain elementary-particle physics to laypeople. It all seems so arbitrary – the ridiculous collection of fundamental particles, the lack of pattern to their masses.” -Leonard Susskind

When it comes to physics, there are a tremendous number of unsolved problems that seem to mandate the existence of a new particle. These include the dark matter problem, the matter-antimatter asymmetry problem, the massive neutrino problem and the strong-CP problem. Moreover, these particles required cannot be part of the Standard Model: they must lie beyond it.

Image credit: DESY at Hamburg.

Image credit: DESY at Hamburg.

Yet not only have detectors and colliders failed to turn up anything new despite 50 years of searches, but most models that would solve these problems are theoretically doomed from the start. Constraints on what new physics could do from big bang nucleosynthesis and the lack of observed flavor-changing neutral currents forbid almost all of the theoretical models we can build.

Flavor-changing neutral current Feynman diagrams. Image credit: Physics Beyond the Single Top Quark Observation – D0 Collaboration (Heinson, A.P. for the collaboration) Nuovo Cim. C033 (2010) 117.

Flavor-changing neutral current Feynman diagrams. Image credit: Physics Beyond the Single Top Quark Observation – D0 Collaboration (Heinson, A.P. for the collaboration) Nuovo Cim. C033 (2010) 117.

Come find out why finding a new particle — or even modeling a potential new particle — is so hard!

Comments

  1. #1 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 22, 2015

    Why is it so hard to find a new particle? It’s probably been misfiled or lost between the couch cushions. Science is messy sometimes.

  2. #2 See Noevo
    December 22, 2015

    Scientists say that about 95% of the universe is made up of dark energy and dark matter. But is there any of the dark stuff on earth? If not, why not?

  3. #3 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    December 22, 2015

    @See Noknowledge #2: “On Earth”? You mean, “at rest with respect to the surface of the Earth”? No, probably not. There is, however, a constant stream of dark matter passing through the Earth, from all directions, at roughly 200-or-so km/s. If you can’t figure out why, look up “virialization” and do the math yourself.

  4. #4 Wow
    December 23, 2015

    “But is there any of the dark stuff on earth? If not, why not?”

    Do you know there isn’t? If not why not?

  5. #5 The Peak Oil Poet
    New Zealand
    December 23, 2015
  6. #6 Wow
    December 23, 2015

    And for anyone who hasn’t been here for a week, POS here is a psycho stalker bitch.

    I suggest you read the thread rather than just take that idiot’s claims at face value.

  7. #7 The Peak Oil Poet
    New Zealand
    December 23, 2015

    neglected little kid weren’t you

    developmentally retarded, and socially blind

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2015/12/17/what-are-quantum-gravitys-alternatives-to-string-theory-synopsis

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