Mystery Data Blip May Be a New Particle

Mystery Data Blip May Be a New Particle

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An unexpected spike in Fermilab's atom-smashing data appears to be an undiscovered particle that would introduce a new natural force.

Looks like the Tevatron at Fermilab, slated for closure later this year due to budgetary nonsense, has one more discovery up its sleeve, and it's a doozy. After eight years of throwing protons and anti-protons at each other at near-light speeds, analysis of the collected data seems to suggest that a fifth force of nature called "technicolor" exists in addition to the four known forces of gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force.

That's sort of big news.

What researchers are seeing is an unexplainable spike in the number of quarks produced by collisions of a certain energy that produce W Bosons (say that 10 times fast). In the world of particle colliders, unexplainable spikes mean one of three things: a statistical fluke, Bill spilling coffee on the detector, or a previously undiscovered particle. The spike is just too damn big to be the much sought-after Higgs Boson, so it must be something else. That something else, as it turns out, could be a brand new natural force.

About 20 years ago, several physicists theorized the existence of a fifth force of nature called technicolor that would act similar to the strong force at high energies. They also theorized that undiscovered particles called technirhos would decay into a W Boson and a technipion, which would then decay into a mess of quarks. The end result- high energy collisions that produce W Bosons and unexplainable quarks -is exactly what researches are seeing now, so you can imagine the excitement surrounding the theory. It would end the search for the Higgs Boson (as Technicolor would already be granting mass, rendering it redundant) and open the doors to a search fo a whole zoo of new, silly-sounding particles.

Though the data looks promising, it's still short of a "five sigma" proof-worthy result, or a result that has a .000001 percent (or one-in-a-million) chance of being a fluke. The data is currently merely a three sigma (one-in-a-thousand) result, so further research will be required. Luckily, the team at the Tevatron already has about twice as much raw, uncompiled data as compiled data that went into their report. And if that isn't enough to hit the five sigma, then the data being gathered by Fermilab's other detector DZero and by the LHC near Geneva surely will put the research over that statistical threshold.

Source: New Scientist

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Wasn't technicolor some form of cartoon?

If five sigma is .000001 (one-in-a-million), then wouldn't three sigma (.0001) be one-in-ten-thousand?

Quiet Stranger:
Wasn't technicolor some form of cartoon?

It was a color processing technology.

*nerdgasm*
Cool news, made my day! I've been meaning to get some learnin' on the standard model, so I guess this is a good chance to start on that.

To address the inevitable color related post: The color force (aka Strong force) binds protons to neutrons, quarks together to form protons/neutrons. It has nothing to do with visible color, which couldn't even exist on this scale.

Another fundamental force? I bet there are lots of Unified Theory physicists out there praying that a chance discovery at Fermilab didn't just undo all of their work for the past few decades... I'd lol at them, though.

thethingthatlurks:
*nerdgasm*
Cool news, made my day!

This.

Totally this. Bah, I should have been a physicist! ;-;

Totally cool! Nerdgasm indeed.

[1950's Announcer Voice]
The most anticipated film of our time: "PHYSICS" Proudly brought to you by Republic Pictures in Glorious Technicolor!
[/Announcer Voice]

and they say physicists don't have a sense of humor...

off topic: are those HEBREW letters in the captcha? WTH?!

I didn't understand a single word of that article...

And it was AWESOME

technicolor... technirhos... technipion...

Apparently, physisists like smoking weed! lol.

The Long Road:
Another fundamental force? I bet there are lots of Unified Theory physicists out there praying that a chance discovery at Fermilab didn't just undo all of their work for the past few decades... I'd lol at them, though.

I was just thinking that. Does this fit into Garrett Lisi's theory?

But if you think they're upset they were wrong, you obviously don't understand how science works. More likely they are excited this new data will allow them to find out what's really going on. It'll set their work back, but if they were heading in the wrong direction it's all for the good.

Ok, what can we abuse technicolour to do? Time travel? Gravity manipulation? FTL travel? Extremely fast interwebs?

Do want to know...

The Long Road:
Another fundamental force? I bet there are lots of Unified Theory physicists out there praying that a chance discovery at Fermilab didn't just undo all of their work for the past few decades... I'd lol at them, though.

I sort of think it's more like discovering why the software you're writing for a contract job isn't working, and it's a bug that means you'll have to rewrite a lot of code, but now you know you're that much closer to finishing and getting paid. If this thing is real, I'd expect a lot of physicists to be happy to know part of the reason why the current models don't work perfectly. Sure, there will probably be people who are butthurt that their idea didn't turn out to be accurate, but they'll be the minority, and they're petty and obstructive enough that we really don't need to feel bad about their feelings getting hurt.

BlackWidower:

The Long Road:
Another fundamental force? I bet there are lots of Unified Theory physicists out there praying that a chance discovery at Fermilab didn't just undo all of their work for the past few decades... I'd lol at them, though.

I was just thinking that. Does this fit into Garrett Lisi's theory?

But if you think they're upset they were wrong, you obviously don't understand how science works. More likely they are excited this new data will allow them to find out what's really going on. It'll set their work back, but if they were heading in the wrong direction it's all for the good.

I was mostly making a joke. If anything, this will move the unified theory forward. If I had been working all this time without proper data, though, I'd be a little upset. It's like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle without all of the pieces.

gigastar:
Ok, what can we abuse technicolour to do? Time travel? Gravity manipulation? FTL travel? Extremely fast interwebs?

Do want to know...

Now that you mention, doesn't the Tevatron...

image

... look something like...

I actually watched the livestream about that... Didn't understand most of it as it was very technical but man did I feel nerdy...

They should have named it "octarine" instead of technicolor.

And I often wonder how many people in the world truly understand particle physics at this level and how often they're all in the same room together at some conference. And whether aliens consider vaporizing that room because we're getting too damn close to discovering the secret that will allow us to travel around the universe, annoying the shit out of the other races with our complete lack of inter-species etiquette.

I was going to say I'm surprised this didn't get more press, but then I remembered that the mainstream news media doesn't care about science.

Jerks.

Raiyan 1.0:

gigastar:
Ok, what can we abuse technicolour to do? Time travel? Gravity manipulation? FTL travel? Extremely fast interwebs?

Do want to know...

Now that you mention, doesn't the Tevatron...

image

... look something like...

:O One small step for man, one giant leap for people with fetishes for blue aliens.

 

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