Developed in the 1960s and ’70s, the standard model has some sizable holes: It can’t explain dark matter — an ethereal substance so far detected only by its gravitational effects — or dark energy, a mysterious oomph that causes the cosmos to expand at an increasing rate. The theory also can’t explain why the universe is made mostly of matter, while antimatter is rare (SN: 9/2/17, p. 15). So physicists are on a quest to revamp particle physics by probing the standard model’s weak points.
Major facilities like the Large Hadron Collider — the gargantuan accelerator located at CERN near Geneva — haven’t yet found where the standard model goes wrong (SN: 10/1/16, p. 12). Instead, particle physics experiments have confirmed standard model predictions again and again. “In some sense we are victims of our own success,” says Juan Rojo, a theoretical physicist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. “We don’t have hints about what is the next step.” Emily Conover, “Three new physics experiments could revamp the standard model” at Science News
A new experiment, KATRIN, at the Karlsruhe Institute in Germany, will, it is hoped, shed some light.
See also: Researcher: The search for dark matter has become a “quagmire of confirmation bias”
Researchers: Either dark energy or string theory is wrong. Or both are. But dark energy is so glitzy! Isn’t it a line of cosmetics already?
The Big Bang: Put simply,the facts are wrong.
What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?