The standard model of studying particle physics is surrounded with several issues in the wake of the anticipated entry of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Particle physicists are not sure whether LHC will challenge or add to the standard model used to study particle physics presently.
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Moreover, LHC might explain the some controversial macrocosmic issues like dark matter in the universe. Moreover, the Higgs hypothesis of massive W and Z bosons appearing the same way as massless photons might also get answer. Nevertheless, these postulations are surrounded by numerous questions, ambiguity, and assumptions and this is what John Ellis tackles in his paper Beyond the Standard Model with the LHC.
To date, physicists have only managed to define matter using the standard model of particle analysis, which raises many questions but answers few about pertinent issues like mass differences between matter and antimatter among other cosmological issues.
LHC is expected to offer answers to some of these questions; however, physicists agree that for theoretical calculations at lower-energy accelerators to yield meaningful results that agree with the standard model, there has to be an unknown ingredient that is yet to be observed – the Higgs boson.
Therefore, the greatest question here is, can physicists find the Higgs boson? The chances of finding the Higgs boson particle are high. This elementary cum composite particle is thought to have mass of 114 GeV. In the standard model, symmetry is already broken into vacuum, the lowest energy state.
Physicists argue that just the same way a quantum particle associates with electromagnetic field, a photon in this vacuum has a particle that associates with it (the Higgs boson) whereby the photon gives masses to others and remain massless itself. If the postulated weight of this Higgs boson is 114 GeV, then the LHC will establish it provided its weight be below 200 GeV.
Nevertheless, there raises the question of whether, the Higgs boson particle is elementary or composite. This leads to the hierarchy problem in which some physicists believe there is other physics beyond the standard model. The answer to this question seems to favour a composite Higgs boson. Two arguments support this postulation viz. the supersymmetric solution and possibility of extra dimensions.
In supersymmetric postulation, fermions like leptons and quacks pair up to form ordinary matter with bosons like W and Z or gluons, which carry forces between the matter particles that could be the Higgs boson thus making it a composite particle. On the other side, the possibility of extra dimensions of space not the conventional three dimensions is high.
There is a probability that there are other small dimensions, which are curled up but too minute to be seen. Nevertheless, the LHC is expected to be able to detect the extra dimensions where the Higgs boson is thought move in space.
The final question in this LHC machine is whether it will solve the problem of matter-antimatter riddle. Presently, the small differences between matter and antimatter can be used to explain origin of matter in the universe but only to scales that the standard model can allow which are insufficient to generate the matter observed in the universe.
However, the LHC has a TeV scale that will reveal this deficit. Nevertheless, even with high hopes of the LHC discovering the Higgs boson, there remains questions of whether its coupling of matter and antimatter would be the same among other questions like the origin of matter in the universe. The biggest setback of this LHC is the long time the accelerator is expected to take before it reaches its nominal collision rate. In summation, there is hope and realization of LHC would herald redefinition of physics.
Ellis, J 2007, “Beyond the Standard Model with the LHC”, Nature, vol. 448, pp. 297-304.