US experiments find hint of a break in the laws of physics

At 9 pm India time on April 7, physicists at an American research facility delivered a shot in the arm to efforts to find flaws in a powerful theory that explains how the building blocks of the universe work. Physicists are looking for flaws in it because the theory doesn’t have answers to some questionsContinue reading “US experiments find hint of a break in the laws of physics”

Physics Nobel rewards neutrino work, but has sting in the tail for India

As neutrino astronomy comes of age, the Nobel Foundation has decided to award Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald with the physics prize for 2015 for their discovery of neutrino oscillations – a property which indicates that the fundamental particle has mass. Takaaki Kajita is affiliated with the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector in Japan. He and YojiContinue reading “Physics Nobel rewards neutrino work, but has sting in the tail for India”

A new particle to break the Standard Model?

The Wire July 2, 2015 Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider particle-smasher have unearthed data from an experiment conducted in 2012 that shows signs of a new particle. If confirmed, its discovery could herald a new period of particle physics research. On June 2, members of the ATLAS detector collaboration uploaded a paper to theContinue reading “A new particle to break the Standard Model?”

The hunt for supersymmetry: Reviewing the first run – 2

I’d linked to a preprint paper [PDF] on arXiv a couple days ago that had summarized the search for Supersymmetry (Susy) from the first run of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). I’d written to one of the paper’s authors, Pascal Pralavorio at CERN, seeking some insights into his summary, but unfortunately he couldn’t reply by theContinue reading “The hunt for supersymmetry: Reviewing the first run – 2”

The hunt for supersymmetry: Reviewing the first run

What do dark matter, Higgs bosons, the electron dipole moment, topological superconductors and quantum loops have in common? These are exotic entities that scientists have been using to solve some longstanding problems in fundamental physics. Specifically, by studying these entities, they expect to discover new ingredients of the universe that will help them answer why it is the way it is.Continue reading “The hunt for supersymmetry: Reviewing the first run”

The hunt for supersymmetry: Is a choke on the cards?

As scientists have progressed by leaps and bounds in making discoveries and confirming new ideas, they have been disappointed by how one of their favorite theories has been unable to post a positive status update in… years.

Another window on ‘new physics’ closes

The Standard Model of particle physics is a theory that has been pieced together over the last 40 years after careful experiments. It accurately predicts the behaviour of various subatomic particles across a range of situations. Even so, it’s not complete: it can explain neither gravity nor anything about the so-called dark universe. Physicists searchingContinue reading “Another window on ‘new physics’ closes”

Where's all the antimatter? New CERN results show the way.

If you look outside your window at the clouds, the stars, the planets, all that you will see is made of matter. However, when the universe was born, there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter. So where has all the antimatter gone? The answer, if one is found, will be at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC),Continue reading “Where's all the antimatter? New CERN results show the way.”

Where’s all the antimatter? New CERN results show the way.

If you look outside your window at the clouds, the stars, the planets, all that you will see is made of matter. However, when the universe was born, there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter. So where has all the antimatter gone? The answer, if one is found, will be at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC),Continue reading “Where’s all the antimatter? New CERN results show the way.”

Where does the Higgs boson come from?

When the Chelyabinsk meteor – dubbed Chebarkul – entered Earth’s atmosphere at around 17 km/s, it started to heat up due to friction. After a point, cracks already present on the chunk of rock weighing 9,000-tonnes became licensed to widen and eventually split off Chebarkul into smaller parts. While the internal structure of Chebarkul was responsible forContinue reading “Where does the Higgs boson come from?”

Window for an advanced theory of particles closes further

A version of this article, as written by me, appeared in The Hindu on November 22, 2012. — On November 12, at the first day of the Hadron Collider Physics Symposium at Kyoto, Japan, researchers presented a handful of results that constrained the number of hiding places for a new theory of physics long believedContinue reading “Window for an advanced theory of particles closes further”

The philosophies in physics

As a big week for physics comes up–a July 4 update by CERN on the search for the Higgs boson followed by ICHEP ’12 at Melbourne–I feel really anxious as a small-time proto-journalist and particle-physics-enthusiast. If CERN announces the discovery of evidence that rules out the existence of such a thing as the Higgs particle,Continue reading “The philosophies in physics”