How the Higgs Boson Could be the Answer to Finding Dark Matter
large hardron collider

Christoffer Petersson, a researcher of theoretical particle physics at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the Universite Libre in Belgium, has proposed a new particle model.

The ‘Standard Model’ of particle physics describes the smallest pieces of matter. But, it doesn’t explain everything. Namely, dark matter.

Petersson and his colleagues’ new model has more elementary particles than the Standard Model, including the elusive dark matter particle. This new model also gives the Higgs particle different properties than the Standard Model predicts.

According to the new model, the Higgs particle can disintegrate into a photon and particles of dark matter.

The next step? Testing the new model. Two independent experimental stations at the Large Hadron Collider – Atlas and CMS – are looking for the properties of the Higgs particle this new model predicts.

“It’s a dream for a theorist in particle physics. LHC is the only place where the model can be tested. It’s even nicer that two independent experiments are going to do it,” says Petersson.


The silicon strip tracker of CMS

The first study of data was too small to tell one way or the other if Petersson’s model holds up according to CMS. “But we are already in full swing with new analyses in which we are testing his model in other ways and with more data. We congratulate Christoffer Petersson for having done an important job,” says Zeynap Demiragli at the CMS experiment at CERN.

Confirmation of this new model “would completely change our understanding of the fundamental building blocks of nature,” says Petersson.

Even if it’s not confirmed, “just the fact that they are willing to test my model at CERN is great,” Petersson adds.

The Large Hadron Collider is expected to fire back up this spring. It was shut down for a while for routine maintenance and upgrades.

Take a Drone Tour Through ALICE

ALICE is another one of LHC’s experimental stations. Late last month, LHC released a video of a drone flying through the complex. In the video below, they mention a few facts about ALICE. Its main particle detection apparatus weighs more than the Eiffel Tower. And, it uses the world’s largest warm magnet, powered by an electric current of 30,000 amps.

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