Preliminary results from two experiments suggest that something might be wrong with the way physicists think the universe works, a possibility that is astonishing and thrilling in the field of particle physics.
In two separate long-running experiments in the United States and Europe, they are expected to have small particles called munons that are not doing much. Confusing results – if proven to be true – reveal major problems with the rulebook, which physicists use to describe and understand how the universe works at the sub-atomic level.
“We think we can swim in a sea of background particles all the time, which has not yet been directly discovered,” Fermilab’s co-chief scientist Chris Poli said at a news conference. “There may be monsters we haven’t yet imagined who are interacting with our muons from the vacuum and it gives us a window into seeing them.”
The rulebook, called the Standard Model, was developed about 50 years ago. Experiments conducted over the decades confirmed that its particles and the forces that created and ruled the universe were very much described. till now.
“New particles, new physics may be beyond our research,” said Wayne State University particle physicist Alexey Petrov. “It’s tantalizing.”
Fermilab of the United States Energy Department announced Wednesday the results of an 8.2 billion race along a track outside of Chicago, while most people are ho-hum physicists: Muon’s magnetic field standard model says they shouldn’t be . This comes after new results published last month from the Large Hadron Collider of the European Center for Nuclear Research, which found an astonishing proportion of particles after high-speed collisions.
If confirmed, the results of the US would be the world’s largest discovery of oddly microscopic particles in nearly 10 years, as the discovery of the Higgs boson, often called the “God Particle”, Ada El-Khadra of the University of Illinois Said, which works on theoretical physics for the Fermilab experiment.
The point of the experiments, explains the theoretical physicist David Kaplan of Johns Hopkins University, is to separate the particles and find out if there is “something strange going on” with both particles and that there is a blank space between them.
“Secrets don’t just matter. They live in something that seems to fill in all of space and time. These are quantum fields,” Kaplan said. “We’re putting the energy into the vacuum and see what comes out.”
Both sets of results include strange, transitory particles called muons. The muon is the largest cousin to the electron orbiting an atomic center. But the muon is not part of the atom, it is unstable and normally exists for only two microseconds. After it was discovered in cosmic rays in 1936, it confused scientists so much that a famous physicist asked “Who ordered what?”
“From the very beginning it was the physicists scratching their heads,” said Graziano Venzoni, an experimental physicist at an Italian national laboratory, who was in the U.S. Fermilab is one of the top scientists on the experiment, called the Muon G-2.
This experiment sends the muons around a magnetic track that keeps the particles in existence for a long time so that researchers can get to know them closely. Preliminary results show that the magnetic “spin” of the standard model is 0.1% that predicts the standard model. This may not sound like much, but for particle physicists it is huge – more than enough to enhance current understanding.
Researchers need another year or two to complete the analysis of all results around the 50-ft (14-m) track. If the results don’t change, it will count as a major discovery, Vanzoni said.
In Cern, the world’s largest Atom smasher, physicists are crashing protons against each other. One of many different experiments of the particle measures what happens when particles called beauty or bottom quarks collide.
The standard model predicts that these beauty quark crashes should result in an equal number of electrons and muons. It’s like waving a coin 1,000 times and equating it to an equal number of heads and tails, said James Hadron, head of the Large Hadron Collider aesthetic experiment.
but that did not happen.
Researchers looked at the data for several years and a few thousand accidents and found a 15% difference, with significantly more electrons than muons said, use researcher Sheldon Stone of Syracuse University.
Neither experiment is being called an official finding, as there is still a small chance that the results are statistical quirks. Researchers said that experiments should run more and more often – in both cases, in a year or two, meeting incredibly rigorous statistical requirements for physics.