CERN: LHCb explores the beauty of lepton universality

The LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) collaboration at CERN has reported an intriguing new result in its quest to test a key principle of the Standard Model called lepton universality. Although not statistically significant, the finding, a possible difference in the behavior of different types of lepton particles, chimes with other previous results. If confirmed, as more data are collected and analyzed, the results would signal a crack in the Standard Model.

Lepton universality is the idea that all three types of charged lepton particles (electrons, muons and taus) interact in the same way with other particles. A deviation from th prediction could therefore signal a violation of lepton universality. Such a violation could be caused by the presence in the decays of a never-before-spotted particle not predicted by the Standard Model.

Much more data is needed to tell whether this oddity in the behavior of leptons is here to stay or not. (

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