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RAZOR: Could dark photons explain one of physics' biggest mysteries?



RAZOR visits the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, one of the Big Four particle detectors at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which is part of a groundbreaking search for 'new physics' that defy our current understanding of the universe. 

CMS is one of the largest international scientific collaborations in history, and one of its many tasks is helping find evidence of dark matter - a mysterious substance that makes up about 85 percent of the total matter in the universe. 

That's more than five times as much as ordinary matter - which is what everything we can perceive in the universe is made of. 

Particle physicist Claire Lee explains how CMS is looking for evidence of 'dark photons' – exotic, long-lived particles that have an average lifetime of more than a tenth of a billionth of a second. They're called 'exotic' because they are not part of the Standard Model of particle physics.

Senior physicist Jamie Boyd explains that although the Standard Model is the leading theory of the fundamental building blocks of the universe, it doesn't answer many other questions about physics, and so searches for phenomena beyond the Standard Model continue. 

Boyd explains how the detectors are looking for those phenomena, while magnetics engineer Mirko Pojer talks us through the LHC's next big upgrade. 

We also hear from theoretical physicist Marc Riembau Saperas, who explains how he and his colleagues sift through billions of data points produced every day.

And we take a look at the next project that CERN wants to build - the 100km-long Future Circular Collider - which will push the boundaries of our scientific knowledge even further.

RAZOR: Could dark photons explain one of physics' biggest mysteries?
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