Friday, June 3, 2011

Something going on in the world of high energy particle physics

Two months ago there was an article put on arxiv about an experiment performed at Fermilab which showed some strange results. The experiment involved smashing protons and antiprotons together and see what happens. What happened was that they saw a signal that they didn't expect and which supposedly goes beyond standard models of particle physics. This is quite exciting since we are always trying to figure out new ways to learn about nature and the world around us.

I am no expert in particle physics but it seems that this blog post explains what is going on in good detail and hopefully in a manner that most people can understand.

The reason I bring this up now is because back then this signal was not taken really seriously, it was called a 3-sigma event which means basically that it didn't have statistical significance to it, it might just be a fluke. But recently this signal got a 5-sigma significance which is really exciting.

Too bad the Tevatron (which is the accelerator that performed this experiment) is supposed to be shut down soon.

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