Advances in physics may seem abstract at first but tech often follows

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WHY are fundamental physicists so keen to undermine the very theories that are the bedrock of their success? It is a reasonable question to ask confronted with the excitement bubbling around anomalies that seem to be firming up at CERN’s LHCb experiment.

At stake is a particle that might – the “might” bears emphasising – break open the standard model of particle physics, the framework that successfully explains three of the four forces of nature.

The answer lies in what the standard model doesn’t explain: the fourth force, gravity; the dark matter and dark energy that seem to dominate the …