Physics News of the Week: LHC in 2015 and Reconciling a Black Hole Conundrum

| February 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Another exciting week has passed and I hope it’s been productive for you. As always, we take a look at some of the top events that happened in the world of science. To get these reports delivered straight to your email, register for our email newsletter.

1. Space-time Theory May Reconcile Black Hole Conundrum (Feb 9)

Black holes are famous in the world of theoretical physics for constantly being in the centre of various controversies. As an example, in order to fully understand what happens inside the black horizon we require a working theory of quantum gravity. Similarly, another conundrum of black hole physics is the famous information paradox, which has been in the headlines quite a lot recently.

Physicists Ahmed Farag Ali, Mir Faizal, and Barun Majumder believe that two controversial, yet fascinating ideas —  doubly special relativity and gravity’s rainbow — can get rid of the two biggest problems in black hole physics. “In gravity’s rainbow, space does not exist below a certain minimum length, and time does not exist below a certain minimum time interval,” explained Ali, who, along with Faizal and Majumder, authored a paper on this topic that was published last month. “So, all objects existing in space and occurring at a time do not exist below that length and time interval [which are associated with the Planck scale].” This at first glance simple idea, according the the authors, holds the potential of resolving some of the biggest problems in black hole physics. Read the full review here.

lhc_wave

In 2015 the LHC team is aiming even higher

2. Relaxing Higgs Could Explain the Absence of Antimatter (Feb 11)

One of the biggest problems in cosmology and particle physics is the anti-symmetry of matter and dark matter. According to our current understanding, all the matter in the Universe today is what was left over after the nearly equal amounts of primordial matter and antimatter annihilated. Now, Alexander Kusenko and Louis Yang at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Lauren Pearce at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, published a new paper that makes use of the information gleaned from the recently discovered Higgs boson to propose a new model explaining matter’s dominance.

According to the recent dicovery of the Higgs boson, it has a mass of 125.5 GeV, however there are good theoretical arguments that this average value of the Higgs field could evolve in time. According to the new paper, the average value of the Higgs field evolves in time, it can introduce a splitting between the masses of particles and their antiparticles. This can be used to build a model explaining the abundance of matter rather than antimatter. Read the full paper here.

3. Possible Discovery in 2015 of a New Particle at the LHC (Feb 15)

The Large Hadron Collider, built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), has undergone major upgrades and this year will begin its second, three-year run. This year, the atom-smasher will restart at a beam energy that is substantially higher, with the goal of better understanding why nature prefers matter to antimatter. According to Professor Beate Heinemann from UC Berkeley, new discoveries might be made sooner than expected. “Maybe we will find now supersymmetric matter,” she added. “For me it is more exciting than the Higgs.” Supersymmetry is an extension of the standard model of physics that aims to fill in some big gaps regarding how scientists understand matter. Additionally, it is expected that the LHC might shine some light on the physics of the elusive dark matter.

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