A tiny discrepancy in the weight of a fundamental particle called the W boson could blow open one of our major theories for understanding everything – if the measurement stands up to scrutiny
13 April 2022
A SMALL discrepancy has sparked a big “if”. Physicists who spent 10 years weighing the W boson, one of the fundamental particles that make up our universe, say it is 0.1 per cent heavier than expected (see Particle physics could be rewritten after shock W boson measurement). What might be a rounding error in other fields of study could blow open the standard model of particle physics, one of our major theories for understanding, well, everything. If the measurement is correct, that is.
We have been here many times before. One of the most memorable cases saw a group …