I’m putting together a blog of things I find interesting. Hopefully I will update it at least once a day, since I’ve always felt that is the sign of a good blog.
What a better topic to start with than the exciting results from the CDF experiment at Fermilab running on a particle super-collider called the Tevatron in Illinois. All high-energy physics experiments have confirmed the Standard Model (SM), which was discovered in the 60s, but some new results from CDF do not fit into this model! There could be many reasons for this, but it could be the signature of an unexpected particle! Considering that the SM has been perfect for the past 40 years, it seems quite likely that there is a more mundane explanation for the results (e.g. unexpected background noise), but that will not keep the physicists from theorizing about new potential particles.
Here is a basic explanation of the results:CDF Ghost Muons
Here is more detail from one of the experimenters: CDF publishes multi-muons!!!!
And here is the actual paper: Study of multi-muon events produced in p-pbar collisions at sqrt(s)=1.96 TeV
Another interesting phenomena is not only the physics involved, but also the physicists themselves and their communication. Many world-class physicists regularly post comments on other physics blog. (Is there another academic subject which has this same level of open communication??) And when physicists communicate sometimes there is fireworks. In the case about the CDF, one physicist accused another of getting leaked results of the CDF experiment and used it his paper which happens to coincide with the unexpected CDF results.
The author of the paper stated: “I can tell you officially we had no word on this [the CDF reuslts]. This blog is, in fact, the first I’d heard of it”.
To which a CDF experimenter replies: “That is pretty hard to digest. Lepton jets with lifetimes. Come on. I think you owe it to the physics community to let us know where the leak came from.”
Which then received a several paragraph diatribe scorning the skeptics and the blogging community: “I find your cynicism remarkable . . . at least most of us don’t think of physics as a soap opera rife with rumor and innuendo, or spend the precious time we have cynically tossing around completely baseless and deeply offensive accusations.”
You can read about this confrontation form one of the participants here: Nima Arkani-Hamed’s letter on multi-muons – and my reply
All very entertaining in my opinion. Not be out down is of course the infamous Lubos Motl who is a String Theory researcher at Harvard, who compares one of the commenting physicists to “slightly retarded children”. And accuses another of “attempting to spread rumors that Arkani-Hamed and Weiner may have heard about the upcoming experimental paper in advance.” You can read his entertaining commentary here: CDF sees dark unified SUSY in lepton jets?