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)