When you fire at the Large Hadron Collider and use supreme power globally to destroy it, not only can you destroy a few simple particles simultaneously, not only can you create a mind-boggling collision power of 13 teraletronvolts Huh; You may also find that you have generated a subatomic particle whose odd little manipulation can completely break the laws of physics.
This is called muon. And on Wednesday, researchers at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory sent shock waves through the world of particle physics when they discovered that this unnatural spec of a quantum-curious existence could in a way illuminate the very fabric of the universe, because it Haven’t seen yetAbout a decade ago.
207 times larger than electrons, the magnet-like muonet decays radioactively into pieces in 2.2 millionths of a second, making them a predictable candidate for an explosive physics discovery, a New York Times report on Wednesday According to the rich report. But then the muons faltered awkwardly. So strangely that the most hyper-specific measurements of the world routinely disregard and appear to be influenced by physicists may be forces outside of what is currently known.
“This is the quantity we measure that reflects the muon’s interactions with everything else in the universe,” Renee Fatemi, a physicist at the University of Kentucky, said in a release. “This is a firm proof that the muon is sensitive to something that is not in our best theory.”
In quantum physics, one theory states that particles can appear suddenly and affect an item they interact with before disappearing again. Researchers working on muons say the small change in muons’ wobbles could be attributed to the impact of a possible host of these “virtual particles”.
Although the findings follow in the footsteps of similar experiments in 2013 and 2018, the latest results will still require more vetting.
In the meantime, however, you can find more on the mind-blowing muons by checking out Fermilab’s simple-folk-friendly video interpreter.