You are here

Making Sense of Handedness on a Lattice

Submitted by Shane D Debolt on April 3, 2024 - 11:47am
David Kaplan News APS
-K. de Weille

David Kaplan is on a quest to straighten out chirality, or “handedness,” in particle physics. A theorist at the University of Washington, Seattle, Kaplan has been wrestling with chirality conundrums for over 30 years. The main problem he has been working on is how to place chiral particles, such as left-handed electrons or right-handed antineutrinos, on a discrete space-time, or “lattice.” That may sound like a minor concern, but without a solution to this problem the weak interaction—and by extension the standard model of particle physics—can’t be simulated on a computer beyond low-energy approximations. Attempts to develop a lattice theory for chiral particles have run into model-dooming inconsistencies. There’s even a well-known theorem that says the whole endeavor should be impossible.


People Involved: