The Frustrating Search for New Physics

This is a general audience article I wrote for Science in the News (Harvard’s graduate student popular science blog). It describes a central issue in the particle physics right now: everyone believes the Standard Model of particle physics should be wrong, but no one can determine where exactly it goes wrong.

I’m sharing this here because I first joined this forum when I was writing this article - you see these first posts of mine which basically talk about the same topics! So thanks @swamidass and @Patrick especially for unknowingly egging me on to finish writing it by asking questions about the Standard Model in the forum. :smile:


Very nice @dga471! It is great to see you getting your work out there like this. Maybe you will be the next Ethan Seigel.

Particle physics says that the universe shouldn’t exist.

This is a radical claim! But if the current theories that underlie particle physics are correct and complete, then the Big Bang that birthed the universe would have simply resulted in a massive flash of light. Nothing else would remain – no stars, planets or galaxies. And neither you nor I would be around to read this text.

@Patrick, you are going to want to read this one.


@dga471, this is a hilarious figure. This must be exactly how physicists see biology. A bunch of atoms, give rise to a leaf. No DNA, no cells, or organelles. No structures. Just the leaf as a cartoon, and the next scale down is an atom. Hilarious.

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:rofl: I think I originally was thinking of adding at least molecules to the picture (and instead of a leaf, depicting something inorganic like a piece of metal), but because molecules or cells are not mentioned at all in the article, that was the picture the artist drew. In addition, since I was not an expert on biology, I wouldn’t be able to comment on the accuracy of a diagram of a cell!


Daniel, I enjoyed the article. Very clear. Thanks.

@dga471 Is the asymmetry in the splitting of the weak force and EM after the big bang account for any of the anti-matter matter asymmetry?

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