The standard model of particle physics is our best description yet of fundamental particles and their interactions, but it is known to be incomplete. As yet undiscovered particles and interactions might exist. One of the most powerful ways to search for new particles is by studying processes known as flavour-changing neutral current decays, whereby a quark changes its flavour without altering its electric charge. One example of such a transition is the decay of a beauty quark into a strange quark. Here we review some intriguing anomalies in these decays, which have revealed potential cracks in the standard model—hinting at the existence of new phenomena.
The standard model of particle physics is incomplete, but experimental particle decays that occur through a ‘flavour-changing neutral current' process, which show discrepancies to standard model predictions, may offer hints to the existence of new particles.