‘TANTALIZING' RESULTS OF 2 EXPERIMENTS DEFY PHYSICS RULEBOOK
Techlife News|Techlife News #493
Preliminary results from two experiments suggest something could be wrong with the basic way physicists think the universe works, a prospect that has the field of particle physics both baffled and thrilled.

The tiniest particles aren’t quite doing what is expected of them when spun around two different long-running experiments in the United States and Europe. The confounding results — if proven right — reveal major problems with the rulebook physicists use to describe and understand how the universe works at the subatomic level.

Theoretical physicist Matthew McCullough of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, said untangling the mysteries could “take us beyond our current understanding of nature.”

The rulebook, called the Standard Model, was developed about 50 years ago. Experiments performed over decades affirmed over and again that its descriptions of the particles and the forces that make up and govern the universe were pretty much on the mark. Until now.

“New particles, new physics might be just beyond our research,” said Wayne State University particle physicist Alexey Petrov. “It’s tantalizing.”

The United States Energy Department’s Fermilab announced results Wednesday of 8.2 billion races along a track outside Chicago that while ho-hum to most people have physicists astir: The magnetic field around a fleeting subatomic particle is not what the Standard Model says it should be. This follows new results published last month from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider that found a surprising proportion of particles in the aftermath of high-speed collisions.

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