A challenge to lepton universality in B-meson decays

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One of the key assumptions of the standard model of particle physics is that the interactions of the charged leptons, namely electrons, muons and taus, differ only because of their different masses. Whereas precision tests comparing processes involving electrons and muons have not revealed any definite violation of this assumption, recent studies of B-meson decays involving the higher-mass tau lepton have resulted in observations that challenge lepton universality at the level of four standard deviations. A confirmation of these results would point to new particles or interactions, and could have profound implications for our understanding of particle physics.Recent measurements of B-meson decays in which tau leptons are produced might challenge the standard model assumption that interactions of leptons differ only because of their different masses.

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