‘Extraordinary’ discovery of W boson particle contradicts understanding of how the universe works

Scientists have announced that a fundamental particle the W boson has a significantly greater mass than previously thought, shaking the foundations of our understanding of how the universe works. 

Those foundations are supported by the standard model of particle physics, which is the best theory scientists have for describing the universe’s most fundamental building blocks and the forces that govern them.

The W boson is an electrically charged fundamental particle that governs the weak force, which is one of nature’s four fundamental forces and thus a pillar of the standard model.

According to a new study published in the journal Science, the most precise measurement of the W Boson ever made directly contradicts the rules of the standard model.

According to Ashutosh Kotwal, a physicist at Duke University who led the study, it took more than 400 scientists 10 years to record and analyse a “dataset of around 450 trillion collisions.”

Physicists at Fermilab in Chicago are crunching numbers on collisions made by the Tevatron collider. It was the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator until 2009, when it was supplanted by the Large Hadron Collider. Physicists have determined the W boson’s mass with a precision of 0.01% – twice as precise as previous efforts. They compared it to measuring the weight of a 350kg (800 pound) gorilla to within 40 grams (1.5 ounces). “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” Jan Stark said.