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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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  • by MikTheUser ( 761482 ) on Friday July 03, 2009 @04:30PM (#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.

  • Re:or (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 03, 2009 @04:32PM (#28574817)

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

  • Future of Fermilab (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 03, 2009 @04:59PM (#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.

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