Go outside and you will be showered, every day, with proof of the theory of special relativity. This proof comes in the form of muons, so you won't actually see it, but we'll tell you why the presence of these particles proves Einstein right.
By drilling a 1.5 mile hole deep into an Antarctic glacier, physicists working at the IceCube South Pole Observatory have captured 28 extraterrestrial neutrinos — those mysterious and extremely powerful subatomic particles that can pass straight through solid matter. Welcome to an entirely new age of astronomy.
Remember that time you mixed vinegar and baking soda and decided you wanted to be a scientist? Maybe you should have followed through. Then you could have been one of the guys that just developed a tabletop "gun" that creates positrons by shooting lasers at gold.
If you've ever looked at a model of the atom, you'd probably guess that electrons are spherical. But these elementary particles are actually slightly egg-shaped...and proving that could mean trouble for one particular model of subatomic physics.
Supersymmetry holds that all the subatomic particles we know have counterparts that are almost exactly the same, only much, much heavier. But the Large Hadron Collider hasn't found any supersymmetric particles yet, and they're running out of places to hide. Will we have to come up with a new model for subatomics?
Q.1 Is it possible to use one's tongue as a subatomic particle detector?
Q.2 If so, would that be a good idea?
Yesterday, we presented a comprehensive guide to the world of subatomic particles, exploring all the known elementary and composite particles. But now it's time to put certainty to one side and explore the wild, mind-bending world of undiscovered particles.
Muons, neutrinos, supersymmetric partners, the infamous Higgs boson - with so many different subatomic particles flying about, it's no wonder theoretical physics can be so confusing. That's why we made this (reasonably) simple guide to all the different elementary particles.