Science may finally be on the verge of explaining the existence of dark matter. Numerous hypotheses and discoveries have been revealed in recent months but one specific team of scientists from Spain and Germany claims to have found a real explanation that, however, depends on the existence of a hypothetical new particle that is yet to be proven, as well as a model of a fifth dimension.
Could a new hypothetical particle explain dark matter and prove the existence of a 5th dimension?
The whole theory revolves around this undiscovered particle that hypothetically (if it exists) could be the link between visible matter and dark matter. The main problem with this theory is that, if proven, it would deny and destroy all previous models of the existence of dark matter.
Going outside the box and creating “new physics” could be a double-edged knife for the scientific team but if proven, it would change our whole understanding of the universe and potentially answer our biggest questions to date.
Scientists have long questioned the existence of a fifth dimension but at this point, all that has been achieved have been hypothetical models and equations that present the universe as it would look like if there was an additional dimension.
Scientists point out one highly possible reason why this particle is invisible to us and cannot be detected – technology. The researchers argue that this new fermion may be able to interact with the Higgs boson and although it would likely be similar, it would be heavier. Here lies the main problem – the current colliders and particle accelerators are probably not powerful enough to detect the new particle.
Although it is still difficult to prove the existence of this hypothetical subatomic particle and the fifth dimension at the moment, the researchers believe that their study and the model outlined by it may help scientists in future studies of cosmology and particle physics.
Discovering subatomic particles
Subatomic particles are extremely difficult to observe due to their size. They are smaller than an atom and the wavelength of visible light. The only way we can register them and observe their behavior is to collide atomic nuclei, made of particles, with each other at incredible speeds (close to the speed of light).
This produces large quantities of exotic particles that are only created at high energies. Physicists believe that these collisions resemble the conditions under which the universe developed immediately after the Big Bang.
Particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), and the already defunct Tevatron have made physicists much progress in developing a “theory of everything.” This theory postulates how all subatomic particles in the universe work and how exactly they interact to form the universe as we know it.
One of the most complete models that come as close as possible to developing a “theory of everything” is the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which describes the interaction of particles and forces. This scientific team, however, is obviously thinking outside this model and unfortunately, the current colliders are obviously not advanced enough to aid them in their work.
By 2030, China plans to build the largest and most powerful particle accelerator, which will help conduct new experiments at higher energies. Hopefully, it will help to look deeper into the very structure of reality. In the meantime, we can only wait and monitor the results of the experiments.
What is the Higgs Boson?
It is not known why certain particles have mass since it is generally accepted that all particles carrying interactions should not have mass. Nevertheless, as it turned out, particles carrying a weak interaction have mass. But why does a particle, which should be massless, have mass? This is where the Higgs boson comes into play.
The Higgs boson could help explain how these particles get their mass. In the 1960s, Peter Higgs – the same physicist after whom the elusive particle was named and who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013 – developed a theory to explain how particles carrying electromagnetic or weak interactions could acquire different masses in the process. gradual cooling of the universe.
His speculation was that particles like protons, neutrons, and quarks gain mass through interacting with an invisible electromagnetic field known as the Higgs field. Some particles are able to pass through this field without gaining mass, while others “get stuck” in it and accumulate it. If so, then the “invisible” field must have an associated particle – the Higgs boson – which controls interactions with other particles and the Higgs field, changing virtual Higgs particles with it.
Because the Higgs boson quickly decays into more stable particles, it is more difficult to observe than other subatomic particles produced by collisions in accelerators. It is believed to exist for only one septillion second before decay, making it difficult to detect among trillions of collisions.
When scientists announced the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, they reported that they were observing a new 125.3 GeV +/- 0.6 by 4.9 sigma boson (the “gold standard” of scientific discovery). This meant that the Higgs boson was confirmed with an accuracy of 99.99997% in the 125 GeV mass range. However, it is extremely rare that anything related to physics is so clear and accurate.
Although this new research is not decisive and is primarily hypothetical, we need to consider the possibility that the Standard Model cannot explain everything, and creating new rules for the universe could be the only way forward. It is understandable that many in the scientific community would oppose such practices but we shouldn’t neglect the work of scientists that dare to push the boundaries.
The existence of dark matter has not yet been officially confirmed despite the many years of studies. And yet, if science manages to prove the existence of this new particle, it could lead to the potential discovery of dark matter as well.
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