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Math Science

Fermilab Detects "Doubly Strange" Particle 36

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the they-don't-build-em-like-they-used-to dept.
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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  • Re:or (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Friday July 03, 2009 @05:08PM (#28575123)

    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 @05:33PM (#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.

  • Re:or (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chefmayhem (1357519) on Friday July 03, 2009 @05:45PM (#28575403)
    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.

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