Maybe Fermilab isn't about to discover a new particle after all

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One of the two research teams at Fermilab has been on the trail of a new subatomic particle for months, and they're almost certain they've found it. But the other research team has just checked the data...and they've found nothing.

Does this contradict the post I wrote just four days ago? Honestly, it's hard to say. The CDF detector is only a couple millionths of a decimal point away from an actual, certified discovery, while the DZero detector has found absolutely nothing to back up its counterpart. This is pretty much the exact reason why two separate detectors were set up in the first place - so that one could double-check and verify the results of the other.


On a certain level, the impulse here is to side with DZero - after all, its non-finding is in line with our current understanding of physics, while CDF's finding most definitely is not. But this isn't about gut instincts. There's a major discrepancy here, and even if it doesn't ultimately lead to the discovery of a new particle, it still needs to be investigated and resolved, and that process might still uncover some hugely useful information. Fermilab is already setting up a task force to look into this disagreement.

But at this point, the answers likely won't be found in Illinois, but in Geneva. At this point, it's almost certainly going to take additional tests by the Large Hadron Collider to figure out just what is going on here.

Via Cosmic Log. Image via.