CERN says new particle hopes are dashed

Shane McGlaun - Aug 8, 2016, 4:30am CDT
CERN says new particle hopes are dashed

Scientists and researchers working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and physicists around the world have been aflutter over a possible new subatomic particle that researchers thought they might have discovered at the LHC facility during experiments in December 2015. During a test, that month two independent experiments at the LHC, ATLAS, and CMS each showed the same strange reports in their data.

During the two particle collision experiments, the measuring equipment recorded a mysterious signal that suggested more pairs of photos with a combined energy of 750 giga-electron volts GeV than expected. The phenomenon is called a “diphoton bump” and it was not predicted in the Standard Model of physics leading the scientists to believe that they might have discovered a new sub-atomic particle.

Scientists believed that the shared diphoton bumps that ATLAS and CMS recorded might be the first indication that they had discovered something else that the Standard Model of physics didn’t explain. Some scientists believed that the readings were produced by a particle that was heavier than the Higgs Boson particle that was discovered at the facility four years ago and had caused a similar quirk in recorded data. Now that the team has collected additional data through 2016, this new diphoton bump has started to disappear.

The team of scientists say that the bump has now dwindled to statistical insignificance. The scientists say that the 750GeV signal they found in data now has only 2 sigma significance, and 5 sigma significance is required to confirm a new discovery.”It is a bit surprising that we saw the fluctuation on both instruments but it was just that—a fluctuation or statistical fluke,” said ATLAS spokesperson Dave Charlton. The scientists say that these sort of false alarms are bound to happen with so many experiments conducted at the facility.

SOURCE: Scientific American


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