The initial results of two experiments suggest that there may be something wrong with the fundamental way physicists think the universe works, which is confusing and thrilling the field of particle physics.
The smallest particles did not do what was expected of them when they circled two different long-term experiments in the United States and Europe. The confusing results – if proven to be correct – reveal great problems in the law book used by physicists to describe and understand how the universe works at the subatomic level.
Matthew McCullough, a theoretical physicist at CERN, the European Organization for Atomic Energy Research, said disturbing the mysteries “could take us beyond our current understanding of nature.”
The rule book called the Standard Model was created about 50 years ago. Experiments over the decades have repeatedly confirmed the interpretations of its particles and the forces that create and govern the universe. Until now.
“New particles, new physics may be beyond our research,” said Alexei Petrov, a particle physicist at Wayne State University. “It’s buzzing.”
The United States Department of Energy’s Fermilap announced the results of a $ 8.2 billion race outside Chicago on Wednesday, with most people having ho-hum physicists: not to mention the magnetic field standard model surrounding a rapid subatomic particle. This follows new results released from CERN’s Large Hadron collision last month, which found a surprising proportion of particles after high-velocity collisions.
Petrov, who has not been involved in any experiments, was initially skeptical of the outcome of the Big Hatron collision when the notes first surfaced in 2014. With the latest, comprehensive results, he said he was now “excited with caution”.
It’s about Mune
The point of the experiments, explains David Kapil, a theoretical physicist at Johns Hopkins University, is to discover that “something funny is happening” in both particles and the empty space between them.
“Secrets don’t just live in matter. They live in something that can fill all space and time. These are quantum fields,” Kaplan said. “We pour energy into the vacuum and watch it come out.”
Both sets of results include a strange, rapid particle called a muon. Muon is the heaviest relative to the electron orbiting the center of an atom. But the muon is not part of the atom, it is unstable and usually only lasts for two microseconds. This has puzzled scientists since it was discovered in cosmic rays in 1936, when a famous physicist asked, “Who ordered it?”
“From the beginning it was scratching the heads of physicists,” said Craziano Venanzoni, an experimental physicist at the Italian National Laboratory, who has been dubbed the Moon G-2, one of the best scientists in the U.S. Fermilab experiment.
The experiment sends muons around the magnetized path, which holds the particles for a long time so that researchers can see them closely. Preliminary results suggest that the magnetic “spiral” of the muons is 0.1 percent higher than the standard model predicted. It may not seem big, but for particle physicists it is huge – enough to improve current understanding.
It will take researchers another year or two to analyze the results of all the laps around the 14-meter path. If the results do not change, it will be considered a major breakthrough, Venon said.
Separately, in the world’s largest atomic crushing at CERN, physicists then crush protons on each other and then see what happens. One of the many separate tests of particle collisions refers to what happens when particles collide, called beauty or lower quarks.
The standard model predicts that these beauty quark failures will cause an equal number of electrons and muons. It’s like flipping a coin 1,000 times and getting an equal number of heads and tails, said Chris Parks, head of the Large Hadron Conflict Beauty Experiment.
But that is not what happened.
‘This is something wrong’
The researchers examined data from several years and a few thousand accidents and found a difference of 15 percent, said Sheldon Stone, an experimental researcher at Syracuse University who has significantly more electrons than muons.
No experiment has yet been called an official discovery because there is still a small chance that the results will be statistical queries. The researchers said that in a couple of years, physics would be able to achieve incredibly stringent statistical requirements to appreciate it as an invention, as more and more experiments are planned – planned in both cases.
If there are results, they will elevate “all other calculations made in the world of particle physics,” Kaplan said.
“This is not a cheating factor. This is something wrong,” Kaplan said.
He explained that there may be some kind of undiscovered particle – or force – that could explain both strange results.
Or these may be mistakes. In 2011, a strange discovery known that a particle called a neutrino traveled faster than light threatened the model, but this turned out to be the result of a loose electrical connection problem in the experiment.
“We tested all our cable connections and did everything we could to verify our data,” Stone said. “We’re kind of optimistic, but you never know.”