Jun 8, 2022

Elusive particle discovered in a material through tabletop experiment

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics, quantum physics

An interdisciplinary team led by Boston College physicists has discovered a new particle—or previously undetectable quantum excitation—known as the axial Higgs mode, a magnetic relative of the mass-defining Higgs Boson particle, the team reports in the online edition of the journal Nature.

The detection a decade ago of the long-sought Higgs Boson became central to the understanding of mass. Unlike its parent, axial Higgs mode has a , and that requires a more complex form of the theory to explain its properties, said Boston College Professor of Physics Kenneth Burch, a lead co-author of the report “Axial Higgs Mode Detected by Quantum Pathway Interference in RTe3.”

Theories that predicted the existence of such a mode have been invoked to explain “,” the nearly invisible material that makes up much of the universe, but only reveals itself via gravity, Burch said.

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