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Science & Technology

Particle is disobeying the known laws of physics

By T.K. Randall
April 9, 2021 · Comment icon 9 comments

The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Glukicov
Recent experiments involving muons have blown open a hole in our current understanding of the universe.
The findings, which appear to agree with the results of similar experiments conducted at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2001, involved firing muons - a type of elementary particle - through an intense magnetic field at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.

Physicist Chris Polly, along with an international team of more than 200 scientists from seven countries, found that the particles did not behave as predicted by the known laws of physics.

This implies that there is a major gap in our current understanding of the universe and suggests that there are "forms of matter and energy vital to the nature and evolution of the cosmos that are not yet known to science", according to a recent article in the New York Times.

"This is strong evidence that the muon is sensitive to something that is not in our best theory," said physicist Renee Fatemi from the University of Kentucky.

There is a mere 1 in 40,000 chance that the results are a fluke, the scientists report.
"After 20 years of people wondering about this mystery from Brookhaven, the headline of any news here is that we confirmed the Brookhaven experimental results," said Dr. Polly.

"We can say with fairly high confidence, there must be something contributing to this white space. What monsters might be lurking there?"

Actually solving this conundrum however is another matter entirely.

"I'm very excited. I feel like this tiny wobble may shake the foundations of what we thought we knew," said Marcela Carena - head of theoretical physics at Fermilab.

Source: New York Times | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 3 years ago
This is the good stuff. The itsy-bitsy muon. Between black matter, gray matter, and now this,. I'd have to say there is an awful lot about this universe we don't know.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by Stiff 3 years ago
Papa was right all along! 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Cookie Monster 3 years ago
Your article is outdated. Its up to 1 in 2.4 million chance its a fluke and once it hits 3 million its official - there is at least one unknown atomic particle.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Xeno-Fish 3 years ago
If this is a reference to who I think it is, this statement should 99.9999999% never exist.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
We always have a lot to learn...
Comment icon #6 Posted by bison 3 years ago
Interesting. We've known for some time that quantum mechanics and relativity theory are both inadequate, because, while appearing largely correct, neither can account for some of the implications of the other. Since, unlike the other three basic forces of nature, there is no quantum solution for gravitation, I wonder if this suspected 'new force' could, instead, be the quantum basis of gravitational fields. It's seeming magnetic interaction with muons may signal a unification of gravity and electromagnetism. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Cookie Monster 3 years ago
The problem between both of them is that the maths they each use is incompatible with the other. The Muon Electron G-2 evidence is that they know how all other atomic particles affect its spin. Yet, combined, its spin is affected slightly more that it should be indicating either a problem with the experiment or an unknown atomic particle. They are almost at the 1 in 3,500,000 probability of it not being an error. Thats the threshold for the declaration of a new particle.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 3 years ago
  "Beddy beddy interestink", bison.   A quantum solution to gravity - and maybe a lot more.
Comment icon #9 Posted by bison 3 years ago
Given the relative weakness of gravitation, compared to the other forces, it seems reasonable that gravitons, if they exist, would have a very small effect on the measurement of the magnetic moment of muons. This is, of course, just the sort of effect they have found, repeatedly. If gravity can affect a particle with a magnetic charge, it would. it seems  open up the possibility of a means of unifying gravity with electromagnetism. 

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