LHCb at CERN: challenging all we know – with Professor Mitesh Patel
public in-person lecture
The LHCb Collaboration at CERN has found particles not behaving in the way they should according to the guiding theory of particle physics – the Standard Model.
"It’s too early to say if this genuinely is a deviation from the Standard Model but the potential implications are such that these results are the most exciting thing I’ve done in 20 years in the field.
Professor Mitesh Patel - Department of Physics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Imperial College London
The Standard Model of particle physics predicts that particles called beauty quarks, which are measured in the LHCb experiment, should decay into either muons or electrons in equal measure. However, the new result suggests that this may not be happening, which could point to the existence of new particles or interactions not explained by the Standard Model.
This is the current best theory of particle physics, describing all the known fundamental particles that make up our Universe and the forces that they interact with. However, the Standard Model cannot explain some of the deepest mysteries in modern physics, including what dark matter is made of and the imbalance of matter and antimatter in the Universe.
Researchers have therefore been searching for particles behaving in different ways than would be expected in the Standard Model, to help explain some of these mysteries.
Professor Patel’s research is based on the LHCb experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. The experiment is an international collaboration of ~1200 physicists from ~74 institutes that is designed to study the decay of B mesons. Dr Patel has served on LHCb's collaboration board as well as convening physics working groups within the collaboration.
He is particularly interested in the use of rare decay modes as probes for physics beyond the current "Standard Model" of particle physics. Professor Patel’s group has played a leading role in several measurements where there are hints of tension with the Standard Model predictions. These so called "B anomalies" have been among the highest profile measurements in particle physics in recent years.
One of the benefits of an annual Membership of Friends is a reduction in the price of lecture tickets, both for you and your guests. If you are not a Member and would like to take advantage of this, as well as enjoying the wide range of other benefits such as exclusive visits and FREE live streamed events, visit the 'Join Friends' page here.