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Math Science

Fermilab Detects "Doubly Strange" Particle 36

DynaSoar writes "While its cousin/competitor site, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, remains offline, Fermilab's Digital Hadron Calorimeter continues to produce significant results. Recently Fermilab announced discovery of the Omega-sub-b baryon, a 'doubly-strange' particle. This baryon, containing two strange quarks and one bottom quark, has six times the mass of a proton. 'The Omega-sub-b is the latest entry in the "periodic table of baryons." Baryons are particles formed of three quarks, the most common examples being the proton and neutron. ... The observation of this "doubly strange" particle, predicted by the Standard Model, is significant because it strengthens physicists' confidence in their understanding of how quarks form matter. In addition, it conflicts with a 2008 result announced by CDF's sister experiment, DZero. In August 2008, the DZero experiment announced its own observation of the Omega-sub-b based on a smaller sample of Tevatron data. This result contradicted some predictions of the Standard Model, suggesting a "new physics." The new result leads to the possibility that the prior results are not accurate.'"
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Fermilab Detects "Doubly Strange" Particle

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  • or (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spud603 (832173) on Friday July 03, 2009 @03:06PM (#28574587)

    The new result leads to the possibility that the prior results are not accurate

    Or Fermilab's results may not be accurate.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by multisync (218450)

      I always thought particles would be much more interesting if they made them in doubly.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by robot_love (1089921)
        Fortunately, Fermilab's particle accelerator goes to eleven, so it shouldn't be a problem.
        • by rhyre417 (919946)

          My blender runs Linux and its knob goes to '12' - should I be worried about creating a singularity in my kitchen?

          A number without Units is meaningless, people :-)

    • Re:or (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 03, 2009 @03:32PM (#28574817)

      DZero and CDF are two different detectors running on the same ring. Both results came from Fermilab.

    • Re:or (Score:5, Funny)

      by sys.stdout.write (1551563) on Friday July 03, 2009 @03:34PM (#28574833)

      Or Fermilab's results may not be accurate.

      CDF is part of Fermilab []

      Obviously all experiments might not be accurate, but this gives evidence that an experiment which contradicts the current theory may have been wrong. Which is good because a "new physics" would be bad news. I mean, we already have string theory - how many more wrong theories do we need?


      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kell Bengal (711123)

        all experiments might not be accurate

        All experiments are inaccurate to a given degree. It's just a question of how accurate you need to be to demonstrate the principles at hand.

      • Re:or (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Artifakt (700173) on Friday July 03, 2009 @04:33PM (#28575319)

        One of the factors pushing string theory is experiments that suggest 'something' is wrong with the standard model, without really pointing to a particular flaw. A result that supports the standard model is a result that makes various string theories less attractive. There are still some string theory variants that look interesting in the light of astrophysics (a few because of dark matter related data, but especially a lot from dark energy related data). This is one less reason to focus on string theory because of sub-atomic physics experiments.

        Also, this experiment has a longer run and more 'robust' data collection than the one it conflicts with. There are real reasons to think this one is the more meaningful result, which is why it's being suggested the earlier one may have errors. If you are looking at a tiny disagreement with the standard model, say 0.001%, and your experimental error is possibly as big as the disagreement, that's not very helpful. If your experimental error is a full order of magnitude better, whatever you provided proof for becomes meaningful. Much beyond that, the results are 'very significant', all work in related areas has to take them into account, and the people who produced them are possible Nobel recipients.

        • One of the factors pushing string theory is experiments that suggest 'something' is wrong with the standard model, without really pointing to a particular flaw.

          It doesn't deal with gravity?

    • by e9th (652576)

      Or Fermilab's results may not be accurate.

      Well, now we know for sure that at least one of them is.

    • by shma (863063)

      Or Fermilab's results may not be accurate.

      Both CDF [] and DZero [] are at Fermilab. Like the LHC, Fermilab houses many separate experiments under the same roof.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by chefmayhem (1357519)
        Exactly. CDF and D0 are separate collaborations at Fermilab using the same proton beam. Because they do not share a detector, and they independently do their own analyses, it is an excellent check against incorrect results.
  • Frankly, from the journalistic point of view, I don't see what's the point of talking about the "Digital Hadron Calorimeter" at the beginning of the news, a term of art not mentioned anywhere in the official announcement, neither explained in the rest of the article, neither pointing to something really new about the last results...
    • by MikTheUser (761482) on Friday July 03, 2009 @03:30PM (#28574793)

      Well, it makes sense to someone familiar with accelerator design, but it's pretty redundant:

      A calorimeter measures the deposition of energy along the trajectory of particles created in or scattered by a collision. Since other, more precise or better suited methods for measuring electromagnetic particles such as electron and muons exist, calorimeters are mostly used for hadrons. And it is highly likely that it be digital, because without a trigger for choosing ~200 events per second to be saved and processed out of hundreds of thousands that actually ocur every second, you'd have yourself a nice, useless analog calorimeter.

      So yeah, "Digital Hadron Calorimeter" is a bit of a buzzword-fest, but it gets the message across.

      • by poldolo (1417047)
        Moreover, talking about that specific part of the detectors such early in the article is also misleading: the calorimeter at issue in the official announcement belongs to one specific detector, of one specific experiment, that is, CDF: it doesn't make sense to talk about "Fermilab's calorimeter" such generically, as if Fermilab had only one as a lab, like Wilson Hall. It would be more correct, still unnecessary per my first message, to talk about calorimeters, plural, thus referring also to DZero earlier re
      • Calorimeters are used to measure the energy of particles including electrons. The CDF detector at Fermilab has an electromagnetic calorimeter designed to measure the interactions (showers) of caused by electrons or photons (and to a much lesser extent other particles). Behind the electromagnetic calorimeter is the hardronic calorimeter. The other large experiment at the Fermi lab's Tevatron (D0) has a similar configuration with a different design. The two large multi purpose detectors at CERN (Atlas and CM
    • by PPH (736903)

      Someone is playing Buzzwod Bingo?

      Coulda' stuck "HD ready" in there and gotten a double word score. Damnit!

    • by True Grit (739797) *

      Frankly, from the journalistic point of view, I don't see what's the point of talking about the "Digital Hadron Calorimeter" at the beginning of the news

      Wait, did you just make a reference to journalism and /. in the same sentence?

      A1: You'll *need* string theory just to get those two things together in one sentence without creating a miniature black hole that swallows the Earth, or

      A2: You really *are* new here, aren't you?


  • Curse you Red Baryon!
  • I have strange quark [] hanging outside my office if anyone at Fermilab is interested in observing it. :) I picked up a whole "universe in a box" at [].

    Now anyone think this story was posted just because the quark happens to be named "strange"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MikTheUser (761482)

      Now anyone think this story was posted just because the quark happens to be named "strange"?

      Well, you certainly won't find Truth or Beauty here!


    • by DynaSoar (714234)

      Now anyone think this story was posted just because the quark happens to be named "strange"?

      It was posted because mention in TFA of the enormous data collection and analysis effort required to get the result. After submitting this I noticed a typo in that sentence. I submitted a request for correction. When it came out, rather than correcting that line, it was left out entirely.

      The result announced was based on 16 events detected among over one quadrillion (10^15) collisions observed.

      "Strange" just doesn't carry the in-joke quality needed for this discerning readership to carry out fruitful and me

  • Future of Fermilab (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 03, 2009 @03:59PM (#28575055)

    This is only tangentially related, but I find it interesting.

    Anyway, most people tend to focus on competition between CERN and Fermilab, but the reality is that there is very little competition between the labs. The real competition is between the detector experiments (D0 vs CDF on the Tevatron and CMS vs ATLAS on the LHC)

    Fermilab has invested tons of resources into the LHC, and CERN has invested tons of resources into the Tevatron. In fact, the LHC is a replacement for the Tevatron, which will shut down once the LHC starts running (we're expecting to run until 2010 or 2011). So what's next? One of the main advantages of the Tevatron was that it was able to reach unprecedented levels of luminosity, so this allows us to explore very rare events, which are usually indicative of processes mediated by very heavy particles. The mass of these particles far exceed the energies the LHC is capable of producing directly, so Fermilab's next generation of experiments will focus on rare processes prohibited by the Standard model, but predicted by many flavors of super-symmetry.

    For example, Mu2e is an experiment proposed to run at Fermilab ~2016, which will seek to observe the neutrino-less decay of a muon into an electron. From what I recall, this process occurs with a chance of 10^-54 under the standard model and ~10^-16 under SUSY. Basically, you need a heck of a lot of muons (and very little of everything else) to be able to run this experiment effectively.

  • "We need new physics!"


  • Large Hadron Collider - easily typoed as large hardon collider
    Strange Quarks - what's next, queer quarks for muster mark?
    Bottom (and top) quarks - those doesn't even need any spin.

    Yeah, yeah, small minds are easily amused. Mod me down for being a big hadron.

  • Allright now, who farted in the lab?

  • A doubly strange particle?

    If ever a Cowboy Neal option was appropriate...

    Wait, where are the poll options?

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