The X17 particle can solve the mystery of dark matter
The X17 particle can solve the mystery of dark matter – Professor Attila Korszonhorke and his colleagues from ATOMKI (Hungarian Debrecen Nuclear Research Institute) recently published an article that hints at the existence of a previously unknown subatomic particle called X X17. The team first reported that it found particle marks in 2016, and now they report more brands in a separate experiment.
If the results are confirmed, particle X17 can help explain dark matter, and scientists of mysterious matter believe that the universe contains more than 80% of the mass.
It can be the carrier of a ‘fifth force’ beyond four in the standard model of physics: gravity, electromagnetism, weak atomic force and strong atomic force.
Most researchers looking for new particles use highly accelerators that simultaneously destroy microscopic particles at high speeds and leave the explosion. The largest of these accelerators is the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, where the Higgs Boson, a particle scientist who had been hunting for decades, was discovered in 2012.
Professor Krasznahorkay and his co-authors have taken a different approach, conducting small experiments that trigger subatomic particles called protons in the nuclei of different atoms.
In 2016, they observed pairs of electrons and positrons when the beryllium-8 nucleus went from a high energy state to a low energy state.
He found deviations from what he expected to see when there was a large angle between the electron and the positron. This discrepancy can be better explained if the nucleus emitted an unknown particle that was subsequently divided into an electron and a positron.
This particle has to become a boson, which is the type of particle that carries the force, and its mass will be about 17 million electron volts. It is as heavy as 34 electrons, which is quite light for such a particle. (The Higgs boson, for example, is more than 10,000 times heavier).
Because of his mass, Professor Kursenzhorke and his team called the imaginary particle X17. Now they have seen a strange behavior in the helium-4 nucleus that can also be explained by the presence of X17.
This last discrepancy is statistically significant: a confidence level of seven sigma, which means that there is only a very small probability that the result is coincident. This is beyond the usual five sigma standard for a new discovery, so the result seems to be that there is some new physics here.
However, the new announcement in 2016 and one encountered skepticism from the physical community, the kind of skepticism that did not exist when the two teams together announced the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.
So why is it so difficult for physicists to believe in a new light boson as if it could exist?
First, such experiments are difficult and, therefore, data analysis. The signals may appear and disappear.
In 2004, for example, in Debrecen, the group found evidence that they interpreted the possible existence of a similar boson, but the signal disappeared when they repeated the experiment.
Secondly, one must ensure that the existence of X17 is compatible with the results of other experiments. In this case, the results with beryllium in 2016 and the new result with helium can be explained by the existence of X17, but an independent investigation by an independent group is still required.
In 2012, in a workshop in Italy, Professor Bosznhorke and his group first reported weak evidence (at the level of three sigmas) for a new boson.
Since then, the team repeated the experiment with advanced equipment and successfully reproduced the results of beryllium-8, which is reassuring, since helium-4 has new results. These new results were presented at the HIAS 2019 Symposium of the National University of Australia in Canberra.
What does this have to do with dark matter?
Scientists believe that most of the matter in the universe is invisible to us. The so-called dark matter will only interact with the general case in a very weak way. We can speculate that it exists from its gravitational effects on distant stars and galaxies, but it has never been detected in the laboratory.
So where does X17 come from?
In 2003, one of us (Boehm) showed that there can be a particle like X17, which works with Pierre Fayette and is single. It moves between dark matter particles in the same way as photons, or particles of light, do for ordinary matter.
In the scenarios I propose, lighter dark particles can sometimes form pairs of electrons and positrons similar to Professor Gersenhorke’s team.
This scenario has led to many discoveries in low energy experiments, which have rejected many possibilities. However, X17 has not yet been ruled out, in which case the Debrecen group has discovered how dark matter particles communicate in our world.
More proof is required
Although the results of Debrecen are very interesting, the physical community will not be convinced that a new particle has been found until independent confirmation.
Therefore, we can expect many experiments around the world that are looking for a new light boson to start looking for evidence of X17 and its interactions with pairs of electrons and positrons.
If confirmed, the next discovery may be the Dark Matter particle itself.