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Fermilab Not Dead Yet, Discovers Rare Single Top Quark 194

Several sources are reporting that in spite of LHC hype, Fermilab's Tevatron has produced another feat for scientific discovery. Currently the world's most powerful operating particle accelerator, the Tevatron has allowed researchers to observe a rare single Top Quark. "Previously, top quarks had only been observed when produced by the strong nuclear force. That interaction leads to the production of pairs of top quarks. The production of single top quarks, which involves the weak nuclear force and is harder to identify experimentally, has now been observed, almost 14 years to the day of the top quark discovery in 1995."
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Fermilab Not Dead Yet, Discovers Rare Single Top Quark

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  • Bare/Single quark? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cblack ( 4342 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @07:27PM (#27128251) Homepage

    Just to be clear, this isn't a single/bare quark w/o a partner is it? As I thought isolating quarks outside of a hadron (w/ 1 or 2 other quarks) was not possible due to the nature of the strong force. Is what they are really saying is that they got an event to force just one top quark to decay once released from a hadron rather than 2 or more at once?

  • Re:I wonder (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @07:32PM (#27128299)

    How about explaining why protons have a +1 charge and neutrons have no charge? I'd say that's pretty useful. Ditto with explaining the charge of the anti-nucleons.

    Actually, they don't explain "why" they have +1 charge. Merely elaborate on the idea that they do so.

    Note also that the reason that protons have +1 charge isn't especially useful, in and of itself. Interesting, perhaps, but not useful.

  • Re:And (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Samschnooks ( 1415697 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @07:44PM (#27128395)
    It will happen both ways. There'll be a whole Universe created when you mod one way, another for modding another, yet another for not modding, and still others where you don't ask this question and this one where you did ask. Multiverse []. Of course I created a universe by posting this. There's another universe where I did not post and instead pleasured myself with some hairy milf porn.
  • I'm dumb, I think. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bucky0 ( 229117 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @09:25PM (#27129343)

    I thought unbound (single) quarks were didn't exist?

  • it's a faked signal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TropicalCoder ( 898500 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @09:37PM (#27129459) Homepage Journal

    ...experimenters have more than doubled the amount of data analyzed and sharpened selection and analysis techniques, making the discovery possible. For each experiment, the probability that background events have faked the signal is now only one in nearly four million , allowing both collaborations to claim a bona fide discovery...

    Emphases mine... I am not convinced this isn't a faked signal. With that possibility having a chance of one in four million, how many millions of collisions have they done in the past 15 years? Far more than 4 million, I would suspect.

    The two collaborations have been searching for this rare process for the last fifteen years, starting before the discovery of the top quark in 1995.

    ...and another thing. Look at that diagram showing a muon went here and a neutrino went there - how in the world did they detect that neutrino, I ask? I bet it zipped right through their detector without so much a pausing to say hello.

  • Re:And (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stox ( 131684 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @10:12PM (#27129705) Homepage

    Just a few examples from Fermilab:

    ACP/MAPS: One of the pioneers in the use of massively parallel computers in science. Built and designed at Fermilab, was once the top of the super computer list.

    IBM Farms: Inspired IBM's SP1, which has then lead to the Blue Gene series of computers. The Farms, both IBM and SGI, at Fermilab also pioneered the use of computer farms. It may be where the term "farm" originated.

    Fermilab was a very early adopter of Linux. Bob Young, one of the founders of RedHat, credits that adoption with the early success of Linux.

  • by Phroon ( 820247 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @10:51PM (#27130069) Homepage

    This is not a major discovery, but it is another important showing off of the 'standard model' working very well at the energies we have so far probed.

    Single-top is, however, one of the backgrounds in the search for the Higgs boson. For Fermilab to discover the Higgs, they have to discover single-top first.

  • Re:And (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr2cents ( 323101 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @08:36AM (#27133049)

    I think high energy physics and cosmology should always predicate the latest sexy experiment with some justification given the expense to the taxpayers as to what the applicability of all this is.

    The cost of these experiments should be measured in F-16 fighters or something like that instead of dollars, it would make it seem negligable.

    Just look at the budget in the USA and you'll see that most of the money goes to the industry of death, so they spend it on destruction instead of creativity.

    Yet this fact seems to be brainwashed out of the publics' mind, so instead of protesting against the outrageous military spendings, people are whining about some Fermilab research budget. Pathetic!

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe