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Standard Model

Sabine Hossenfelder asks, did the W-boson break the Standard Model?

Hossenfelder: Is it correct? I don’t know. It could be. But in all honesty, I am very skeptical that this result will hold up. More likely, they have underestimated the error and their result is actually compatible with the other measurements. Read More ›

Standard Model doubted at Inference Review

In the cosmic microwave background frame, the large-scale averaged distribution of matter is also assumed to be isotropic… These assumptions are no longer tenable. Several independent data sets now argue against the existence of a cosmic rest frame. Read More ›

Sabine Hossenfelder: New evidence against the Standard Model of cosmology

Hossenfelder: "... the evidence is mounting that the cosmological principle is a bad assumption to develop a model for the entire universe and it probably has to go. It increasingly looks like we live in a region in the universe that happens to have a significantly lower density than the average in the visible universe." Read More ›

Rob Sheldon on the latest effort to pretend that nothing is wrong in cosmology

Sheldon: This dashes yet another attempt to find something that the standard model could not explain. Surprisingly, this is what depresses particle theorists, who have yet to find anything new in the last 40 years, despite thousands of publications. Read More ›

Hope springs eternal: Are new particles hiding “in plain sight?”

The Large Hadron Collider just keeps confirming the Standard Model, almost as if there was some basis for believing it to be correct. Rob Sheldon thinks the current mood is desperation: If you don't know where you are going, you will certainly arrive. Information is finite, ignorance infinite. Read More ›

Will the Large Hadron Collider doom particle physics?

They’ll find the money to continue. Consider: The Standard Model begins with the hated Big Bang. Nothing that supports string theory, eternal cosmic inflation, or a multiverse has been found. Don’t many people just have to keep looking and keep quiet about what they find that wasn’t what they hoped for? Read More ›

Is cosmology “in crisis” over how to measure the universe?

We are told that the Standard Model just doesn’t work: Every night, astronomers post new ideas to arXiv, the open access publishing site. Cosmologists, in particular, use arXiv to engage in timely back-and-forths that formal journals don’t permit. “We’re just holding on for dear life, trying to keep up with what’s coming out,” says Scolnic. And trying to figure out why the Hubble constant calculations don’t match, where they’ve gone wrong, where they go from here, and how our conception of the universe might change from that new vantage point. Something big may be about to happen to cosmology. It’s easy to see where the cosmologists are coming from, in their glee at the possibility that they’ve been wrong about Read More ›

Electron’s nearly perfect roundness stymies the search for “new physics”

The Standard Model of physics holds that electrons should be almost perfectly round. As it happens, The electron gets its shape from the way that positive and negative charges are distributed inside the particle. The best theory for how particles behave, called the standard model of particle physics, holds that the electron should keep its rotund figure almost perfectly. But some theories suggest that an entourage of hypothetical subatomic particles outside the electron could create a slight separation between the positive and negative charges, giving the electron a pear shape. Now, the Advanced Cold Molecule Electron Electric Dipole Moment, or ACME, search, based at Harvard University, has probed the electron’s EDM with the most precision ever — and still found Read More ›

Researchers: Bizarre Antartic particles might shatter modern physics

Recent cosmic ray activity in Antartica is  provoking question and speculation: Physicists don’t know what it is exactly. But they do know it’s some sort of cosmic ray — a high-energy particle that’s blasted its way through space, into the Earth, and back out again. But the particles physicists know about — the collection of particles that make up what scientists call the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics — shouldn’t be able to do that. Sure, there are low-energy neutrinos that can pierce through miles upon miles of rock unaffected. But high-energy neutrinos, as well as other high-energy particles, have “large cross-sections.” That means that they’ll almost always crash into something soon after zipping into the Earth and never make it Read More ›