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Researchers Determine Size Limit for Undiscovered Subatomic Particles

Researchers Determine Size Limit for Undiscovered Subatomic Particles

Researchers from Yale University suggested that several theorized heavy particles do not have the properties required to explain the predominance of matter over antimatter

A study published by a team of researchers from Yale, Harvard, and Northwestern University in the journal Nature on October 17, 2018, could force significant revisions to several prominent theories that are an alternative to the Standard Model of particle physics. The study reports that several theorized heavy particles (if existed) do not have the properties required to prove the predominance of matter over antimatter. The research reopens discussions about the nature of particles, energy, and forces at infinitesimal scales such as the quantum state, which states that even a perfect vacuum is not truly empty.

According to Quantum Physics, any vacuum is filled with every type of subatomic particle along with their antimatter counterparts that move in and out of existence. To prove the existence of particles in voids, several researches study the shape of electrons that are surrounded by subatomic particles. Small distortions in the vacuum around electrons are examined to characterize the particles. The team worked with the Advanced Cold Molecule Electron Dipole Moment (ACME) experiment to detect the Electric Dipole Moment (EDM) of the electron.

An electron EDM responds to a small bulge on one end of the electron and a dent on the opposite end. Although the Standard Model predicts an extremely small electron EDM, the model fails to explain the preponderance of matter over antimatter after the Big Bang. This has led to studies in the direction of heavier particles that are outside the parameters of the Standard Model. These particles could be associated with a much larger electron EDM. According to the Standard Model, particles surrounding an electron reduce its charge slightly. However, this effect can only be noticed at a resolution 1 billion times more precise than observed in ACME. However, in models such as supersymmetry and grand unified theories that predict new types of particles, the team expected a deformation in the shape at ACME’s level of precision.