CERN physicists have not yet found traces of the existence of “dark light”

CERN
File CERN

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Observations on the rarest decays of the Higgs boson did not help scientists from CERN to fix traces of the so-called “dark photons”, one of the exotic variants of dark matter. This is reported by the web portal of the CMS collaboration.

The Higgs boson has long been considered a kind of “link” between the world of visible and dark matter, and therefore this search was one of the first and most important elements of the scientific program of the second stage of the LHC. We carried out similar measurements for the first time, using all the data collected from 2015 to 2018,” said the scientists.

The Large Hadron Collider was built in 2008 to search for traces of the “particle of God”, the Higgs boson, the last missing part of the Standard Model of Physics. Over eight years of operation, he experienced one major update, during which the energy of the colliding particles was doubled, and several small “upgrades” that significantly increased the efficiency of data collection.

BAK managed to solve this problem in 2012, about a year before the first scheduled shutdown of the vehicle and its renewal. Subsequently, scientists managed to find many other rare particles and test other aspects of the Standard Model, but traces of the new physics, with the exception of a loud fiasco with a “750 GeV particle”, could not be found.

A purposeful search for this kind of LHC will start after the next major update is completed. It began last summer after the collider went on a long one and a half year “vacation”.

Scientists will be engaged in similar searches within the framework of already existing CERN collaborations, as well as with the help of new facilities, such as SHiP and FASER, in the creation of which Russian researchers are taking part.

The first attempts to find dark matter, as noted by Joel Butler (Joel Butler), the official representative of the CMS collaboration, and his colleagues, have already been carried out at the LHC within the framework of the second stage of its work, starting in spring 2015 and ending in the summer of 2018.

The scientific teams of CERN were interested not in the usual “heavy” dark matter particles that do not interact with the outside world in any way, except through the force of gravity, but in the so-called “dark sector”.

So physicists call a special set of quantum fields and various bosons — carriers of fundamental interactions — that go beyond the Standard Model of Physics, but can manifest themselves in decays or mergers of other particles. The inhabitants of this “alternative physical reality” in some theories are weak, but interact with visible matter, while in others they do not touch it at all.

Their existence is admitted by many variations of string theory and minimal extensions of the Standard Model. They can explain many anomalies, for example, strangeness in the decay of beryllium-8, recently recorded by Hungarian physicists, or the “wrong” magnetic properties of muons. On the other hand, traces of their existence have not yet been recorded on any large particle accelerator.

These include the so-called “dark light”, similar in properties to photons, “visible” carriers of electromagnetic interactions. Unlike their usual counterparts, dark particles of light must have a non-zero mass and some other unusual properties.

Such particles, obviously, none of the currently existing LHC detector can see. For this reason, scientists are trying to find them by indirect “evidence”, watching for some rare particle decays.

The principle of their search is simple: if such an invisible substance arises during these events, then a kind of hole will arise in the CMS measurements, generated by the fact that “dark” photons or other inhabitants of the “dark sector” do not interact with visible matter, including BAC detectors. These include, for example, the extra rare transformations of the Higgs boson into a pair of particles consisting of a “normal” and “dark” photon.

The problem is that such decays occur extremely rarely, and it is extremely difficult to isolate them from the general pile of data collected at the collider, and accumulate a sufficient amount of information to test such theories. Butler and his colleagues went for a little trick and significantly increased the chances of finding such “anomalies”, observing not the single decays of the Higgs bosons, but their combinations with Z-bosons.

After analyzing the entire set of data collected by CMS over the past three years, scientists did not find any traces of “dark photons” in the decays of pairs of “god particles” and carriers of weak interactions. As Butler and his colleagues emphasize, this does not necessarily mean that the “dark light” does not exist, but the results of their measurements noticeably narrowed the field of their searches and made life easier for the LHC in the subsequent cycle of its work.

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