Feeds

God particles breeding like bosons

Family of Higgs actually five, US research suggests

Intelligent flash storage arrays

US researchers have suggested that the elusive God particle - the Higgs boson - may actually be no less than a quintet of divine, and as yet elusive, components of the universe.

The Standard Model. Source: AAASThe theoretical Higgs boson is required to give mass to the 16 other particles described by the Standard Model (see graphic), the "internally consistent" theory describing the electromagnetic, strong nuclear and weak nuclear interaction between particles.

New findings from the DZero experiment at Fermilab's Tevatron particle accelerator, however, have led scientists to propose five such particles.

DZero is looking into just why the universe has more matter than antimatter - the so-called "CP violation" of the principle of "CP symmetry", which states that the sum of two symmetries - charge conjugation (C), which transforms a particle into its antiparticle, and parity (P) - should result in an equal amount of matter and antimatter.

Fermilab summarises: "When matter and anti-matter particles collide in high-energy collisions, they turn into energy and produce new particles and antiparticles.

"Similar processes occurring at the beginning of the universe should have left us with a universe with equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. But the world around is made of matter only and antiparticles can only be produced at colliders, in nuclear reactions or cosmic rays."

CP violation, which could go some way to explaining the disappearing antimatter mystery, was first demonstrated back in 1964 by James Cronin and Val Fitch in the decay of neutral kaons ("strange" particles containing strange quarks). DZero has focused on demonstrating the result of high-speed collisions of protons and anti-protons, yielding pairs of muon and antimuon particles from the decay of B mesons.

The result is a one per cent difference in the production of muons and antimuons, which represents a much greater matter/anti-matter ratio than previously seen.

This disparity is "beyond what could be explained by the Standard Model", the BBC explains, so enter stage left multiple Higgs bosons.

Fermilab's Bogdan Dobrescu, Patrick J Fox and Adam Martin say the findings indicate "five Higgs bosons with similar masses but different electric charges".

The BBC elaborates that according to this "two-Higgs doublet model", three bosons would have a neutral charge and "one each would have a negative and positive electric charge".

The name of this theoretical concept comes from the fact that while under the Standard Model the Higgs boson is seen as one particle, it actually comes in a "package of four". Martin explained to the BBC: "In the Standard Model, you only see one of them because the other three are absorbed into [other parts of the scheme] such as the W and the Z bosons. There's only one left.

"So if you want to add another Higgs doublet - you actually have to add four more particles."

If that's not enough particles for you, the Fermilab team's suggestion also fits into the "supersymmetry" theory, which is "an extension to the Standard Model, in which each particle in the scheme has a more massive 'shadow' partner particle".

Just how many Higgs bosons there actually are, and whether the universe is really full of supersymmetrical shadowy partners could be revealed by in due course by the Large Hadron Collider.

The Fermilab press release is here, and its "Evidence for an anomalous like-sign dimuon charge asymmetry" is here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.