How did the Standard Model of electroweak interactions win the trust?

On one of the peaks of human thought in particle physics

According to the model of weak interactions existed in the 60’s, that was based on the Fermi’s theory of beta decay, muon neutrinos interacting with matter are to turn into muons. The electric charge appeared in this conversion is compensated by conversion of electrons that interact with the muon neutrinos to electron neutrinos, i.e., flows from the electrons to muons. New, more rigorous approach proposed by Weinberg and Salam predicted a so-called neutral current that takes place when the neutrinos do not disappear after the interaction, i.e., are elastically scattered by electrons and nucleons of the target. Such interaction is due to emission of a virtual neutral intermediate boson by a neutrino, which is then absorbed by the particle with which the interaction occurs. Ten years after the experimental discovery of the neutral current, the birth of real neutral and charged intermediate bosons has been also registered, in full compliance with the new theory called the Standard Model later on.

Bubbles indicate a trace of an electron after emission of  a neutral intermediate boson

The Standard Model has been confirmed by the discovery of neutral current.


Leave a Reply