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Physics

A smashing proposal for explaining the Universe

APS / Alan Stonebraker SMASH model proposes six new particles in addition to the 17 known onesAPS / Alan Stonebraker

The great unsettled questions about the Universe may have been answered if six more elementary particles can be proven to exist, beyond the 17 described by the standard model of particle physics. Such is the conclusion of a group of physicists led by Guillermo Ballesteros of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) (Physical Review Letters, February 15, 2017). They have proposed a new model of particle physics dubbed SMASH, an acronym for Standard Model-Axion-Seesaw-Higgs portal inflation. According to the study, the existence of three new types of ultra heavy neutrinos could explain why there is more matter than antimatter, and the discovery of the axion, a type of particle 10 billion times lighter than an electron, would justify the concept of dark matter. The SMASH model also proposes an extra quark, in addition to the six in the standard model, to confirm fundamental properties of the force that binds these particles within protons and neutrons. And lastly, the model proposes that the interaction between the Higgs boson and a new particle called rho may be the cause of cosmic inflation, an extremely brief period of rapid expansion of the Universe after the Big Bang.

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