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Fermi Lab's New Particle Discovery in Question

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-new-particle-for-you dept.

Science 62

"Back in April physicists at Fermilab speculated that they may have discovered a new force or particle. But now another team has analyzed data from the collider and come to the exact opposite conclusion. From the article: 'But now, a rival team performing an independent analysis of Tevatron data has turned up no sign of the bump. It is using the same amount of data as CDF reported in April, but this data was collected at a different detector at the collider called DZero. "Nope, nothing here – sorry," says Dmitri Denisov, a spokesman for DZero.'"

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62 comments

Perhaps the new particle can explain (-1, Offtopic)

m50d (797211) | more than 3 years ago | (#36423908)

the excess quantity of dues on slashdot?

Re:Perhaps the new particle can explain (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424994)

dues

No, that's just a proton missing.

Quanta (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36423924)

Maybe the new particle is there and not there at the same time.

Data sharing (4, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36423962)

I think more than anything, this demonstrates why sharing data openly is such a good thing. Sure, not great news for those at Fermi Lab, but if scientists generally (especially those in the behavioural sciences...) were encouraged (or forced?) to allow others free access to their data then I'm sure a few surprising claims might be rewritten and a few interesting blips otherwise missed might be found.

Re:Data sharing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424050)

Not great news? All results are great news. That's the difference between science and self-fulfilling prophecy delusions.

Re:Data sharing (1)

johanw (1001493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424104)

But still, some results are greater news than others. The finding of a new particle is great news, to determine another decimal of some physical constant will only interest a few specialists.

Re:Data sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36427972)

There was a great interview a few years ago on the radio with a guy who was involved with the experiments trying to work out what was going on with neutrinos coming from the sun.

The interviewer said "so what are you hoping for?" and the guy replied "well .... I don't really have a preference, but I do hope that the results are *conclusive*"...

Good attitude!

Re:Data sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424090)

... except that this result is from a separate and independent sample of data collected by a totally different detector.

Re:Data sharing (2)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424280)

It is probably more important to note that D0 handles their systematics a little bit differently. This is natural, because their detector is different, so their systematic errors are different. But there appears to be one particular systematic that they handled better than CDF, and CDF's less-good handling produced a bump-shaped mismodeling of the data. I don't want to say too much, but hint: quarks and gluons don't necessarily quite act alike in some important particulars.

Re:Data sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424106)

To my knowledge CDF did not share their data. They publish their *results* freely on the arXiv. DZero did a similar analysis on their independent dataset and saw no excess.

Publishing results and publishing data are two different things.

Re:Data sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424110)

(especially those in the behavioural sciences...)

I think you mean climate science

Yeah Except (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424208)

You can get all the temperature data AND you can get a full run down of all the processing done, AND there are now FIVE totally independent analyses which have been done on the temperature data using their own subsampling and analysis procedures, AND they all show the same thing give or take a bit.

So maybe some wishful thinking there? lol.

Re:Yeah Except (2)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425236)

When the 'climategate' memos first came up, most of us noticed that they were about tree ring data, which was secondary to actual measured temperatures and such things in the 'man-made global warming' debate. Then some of us noticed that it was about a small percentage of trees growing at high altitudes, which made it all of tertiary significance at best.
People started arguing over whether the researchers were bending the rules of science or not, was it a political conspiracy or not, and endless arguments about who was deliberately eeeeville, when they should have been looking more at how much difference it made.
It all seemed analogous to people finding out that some government type had paid 20,000 dollars to put a neon light covered statue of Elvis in front of the town hall. People got to arguing over whether it was tasteful or not, whether the government had authority to do it or not, and so on, but then one side said "And it really, really matters, because we could have eliminated the federal deficit and even funded a whole extra war with what was left over from that 20,000 dollars." and somehow, that claim was never questioned by a great many.
I see this same sort of thing now in so many areas. Casey Anthony's trial. A forensic pathologist with an exceptionally good reputation testifies, and since he is making a machine that can identify traces of human remains decay, the defence argues that he is biased towards saying anything that might help possible sales of that machine. Never mind that his working for a national laboratory, developing just such devices, is some sort of evidence he is an exceptionally good expert witness - try to make it so a mark of his high quality instead becomes a reason to distrust his testimony, and see if the jury will bite.
Or John Kerry gets three purple hearts. Raise questions about one of them, and see how many of the public will automatically believe that all three were tainted. The more military medals a person gets, the easier it is to find one that sounds a little fishy, so any time somebody runs for office with a Medal of Honor and half a dozen other awards for extreme valor, it will be a piece of cake to find something about at least one, relentlessly attack whichever award sounds weakest, and prove the public should vote for your candidate, who maybe next time this trick is tried, doesn't have a record of this type at all to be challenged. Turn what should normally be an asset into a liability.

Re:Yeah Except (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36429616)

No, you cannot. The question is why you believe it to be so.

(The so called independent analysis all use the same curated dataset to a large extent)

Re:Data sharing (4, Interesting)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424262)

These experiments do not share their data openly (while the experiment is still taking data) because if they did, there would not be any data. The only way to get enough physicists to work on the experiment to make it run well enough to get any data is to restrict data access to those who do service work on the experiment. After the end of data taking, the data may be released, but I don't know the time table on which that typically occurs.

Re:Data sharing (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424572)

Imagine how much more physics would get done if somebody worked out an 'open source' model for physics. Computer people used to do clever things and then publish their results in journals, sometimes with source.

I won't pretend to be clever enough to know what that model is, but it probably exists.

Re:Data sharing (1, Insightful)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424574)

Bullshit. Look to the the astronomy community for counter-examples. WMAP, SDSS, etc.

The only reason particle physics keeps its data closed is history and turf-protection by its members. Astronomy has a longer history, and realized the benefits of sharing star catalogs hundreds of years ago.

Re:Data sharing (2)

delt0r (999393) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424712)

Lots of Astronomy data is held by the "collection group" for a year or so to allow dibs on publication. ie all Hubble data is like this and all the big telescopes are like this (VLT etc). Particle physics is not that different. There is a embargo period IIRC and then its opened up.

It is hard to get funding if you don't get papers out. You won't get the papers out if you spend all the hard work of making the data available rather than analyzing it.

Re:Data sharing (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424752)

There is absolutely no requirement to share data in particle physics. Most of the data from early colliders is irretrievably lost. There's nothing wrong with time embargoes, but that's not what's going on here.

Re:Data sharing (2)

delt0r (999393) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425002)

There is no requirement in Astronomy either as far as i know. We didn't publish a lot of our data, but it was available on request . But like in particle physics, colleagues expect it. A lot of data does not make it to the "public domain", but that is often more a issue of the time and money it costs to do so. This is true for every field and it was a lot more expensive 50 years ago which is why it something that has really only started to happen (lets face it, you didn't make a entire copy of plates from your telescope at every request).. Especially in particle physics where the data volumes are huge even compared to Astronomy standards.

Don't get me wrong i think the data should be made public as a requirement for publication in one form or another. However also working with big datasets myself i realize this is far from free or easy or fast even with today's technology. And modern collider data is a little on the crazy side in both volumes and what is needed to process it. Basically everyone who can use the data can pretty much get it.

Re:Data sharing (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425232)

The data volume issue is brought up occasionally, but is a red herring. The SDSS dataset is comparable in size to that of Fermilab and CERN and is available to the public [sdss.org] (hundreds of TB). No one said anyone should publish raw data either. A processed, manageable form is preferable. If the datasets are that large, then we should be working on publicly-funded data warehouses, just as we once built libraries across the country.

Astronomy has a history of sharing data, unlike particle physics. Furthermore, the NSF has data sharing requirements [nsf.gov] , and the NSF funds most astronomy activities in the US. The DOE funds particle physics (mostly). Data is also not available "on request" at all from particle physics experiments. There are some efforts to change this, but at the tail end of an experiment there is generally not a lot of manpower, money, or motivation to make data public. It's a big effort, really, and the culture of particle physics results in jealously guarded data.

So the best situation is that grant agencies require data sharing as a contingency for all publicly funded activities. (As the NSF has done) And I think we should put effort into data warehousing for publicly funded projects. Hell, give us DNA sequences, drug studies, pesticide tests, EPA water quality, everything publicly funded. Generally everyone wants a subset of the data. Giving anyone that asks the entire dataset is like sending them the library of congress because they want to read one book...

Re:Data sharing (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 3 years ago | (#36552928)

I know this is old but anyway. 100TB is not even going to cover 1 week of the LHC with a estimated 15 Petabytes per year [wikipedia.org] . The ATLAS detector along can create over 23 petabytes per second [wikipedia.org] of raw data. Clearly even with today's HDD and computers you must do some on the fly processing to reduce that to manageable levels. But it is still a class of its own in terms of data by orders of magnitude. The American university that are involved with processing the data have dedicated links IIRC, since a standard internet connection is just not going to cut from a time/cost point of view.

Re:Data sharing (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36552976)

Clearly, one should not distribute raw data, but rather processed data after the experimentalists have taken into account detector resolution, triggering, etc. (In itself a hard problem, I know). No one does actual physics analyses on the raw data anyway. Everyone uses skims or otherwise reduced data.

Sharing can be a big win (1)

EdwinFreed (1084059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36427286)

A friend of mine does research on flare stars. For this you need to look at stars for long periods.

If you think about it, there's a major experiment underway that's already looking at lots of stars for long periods: The search for extrasolar planets. And even better, when one of these experiments finds a flare star, that data isn't especially interesting because they're looking for planets that can sustain life, and frequent solar flares are ... unhelpful in that regard. As long as the data is properly attributed, sharing with the flare star folks means you get credit for data you collected but cannot use yourself.

So it's a win-win to share data in this case, but even so there are various hoops to jump through to get access. I suspect a lot of it boils down to, "We know you and we trust you will stay within your area of interest that doesn't overlap ours."

Re:Data sharing (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424762)

Ex particles guy writing here --- the reason that data isn't immediately shared is that data acquisition and first pass analysis have to be done before you even *think* about looking for new physics. Moreover, the detector systems are complex enough, that it is really hard to be sure the analysis works correctly when you were the one who built the bleedin' thing. Then there's the other half -- almost no detector has complete coverage -- certainly none of the detectors at FNAL or CERN do so you are at the mercy of Monte Carlo simulations to work out the corrections. So you have to do the experiment twice; once is the physical world and once in a virtual world. Mismatches between the worlds can easily lead to spurious signals. Not saying that astronomy is any easier -- at least as its practiced now a days. And WMAP, for example, doesn't seem to be giving away the raw data. There is some turf protection -- "we invested blood sweat and tears as well as years of our lives to build the detector -- we get first crack at the data" -- I don't think that's a bad thing.

The particle physics community does have the equivalent of a star map it's the Review of Particle Properties (RPP).

Re:Data sharing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424998)

Star catalogs aren't data: they're the results of decades of observations, corroborations, corrections and debates over just exactly what that particular black spot on the white plate was. You want the raw telemetry from every telescope that isn't read out with a Mark I eyeball, and every plate ever taken and scientist's observation note from those that were? You want all the calibration data from WMAP, and all the histograms that were plotted to analyze them and turn them into corrections for the main data so they actually *mean* something?

Particle physics, "data" is the 1s and 0s from every piece of sensory equipment in the detector hall, beam area and points between: often millions of readout channels, each of which means something and has its own quirks and problems that need to be measured and understood with more and different types of data (calibration, cosmic rays, etc). And, these readings are taken at frequencies between thousands and millions of times per second. We often have to analyze the data to a preliminary level just to decide whether they're worth keeping to analyze properly later because there's neither the bandwidth nor the storage space nor the computing power -- even now -- to keep them all. The LHC experiments store petabytes of data per month, and storage, access and transfer costs are significant: you pay for access to those data by contributing to the experiment.

OK, now let's assume you get the raw data. Now what? Good luck with that. There's a reason scientist groups and expert contractors spend years and sometimes decades writing the reconstruction and analysis software for particle physics experiments: teasing useful results from the data are hard. If we were to spend our timing pointing out the rookie mistakes of every schmo who fiddled with the data for a while and thought he'd found something new, the work would never be done. "Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle Untenable [icaap.org] ," anyone?

Re:Data sharing (5, Insightful)

chissg (948332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425040)

[Re-post non-AC] Star catalogs aren't data: they're the results of decades of observations, corroborations, corrections and debates over just exactly what that particular black spot on the white plate was. You want the raw telemetry from every telescope that isn't read out with a Mark I eyeball, and every plate ever taken and scientist's observation note from those that were? You want all the calibration data from WMAP, and all the histograms that were plotted to analyze them and turn them into corrections for the main data so they actually *mean* something? Particle physics, "data" is the 1s and 0s from every piece of sensory equipment in the detector hall, beam area and points between: often millions of readout channels, each of which means something and has its own quirks and problems that need to be measured and understood with more and different types of data (calibration, cosmic rays, etc). And, these readings are taken at frequencies between thousands and millions of times per second. We often have to analyze the data to a preliminary level just to decide whether they're worth keeping to analyze properly later because there's neither the bandwidth nor the storage space nor the computing power -- even now -- to keep them all. The LHC experiments store petabytes of data per month, and storage, access and transfer costs are significant: you pay for access to those data by contributing to the experiment. OK, now let's assume you get the raw data. Now what? Good luck with that. There's a reason scientist groups and expert contractors spend years and sometimes decades writing the reconstruction and analysis software for particle physics experiments: teasing useful results from the data are hard. If we were to spend our timing pointing out the rookie mistakes of every schmo who fiddled with the data for a while and thought he'd found something new, the work would never be done. "Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle Untenable [icaap.org]," anyone?

Re:Data sharing (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36426634)

I agree with all you said about raw data and must add there's one more reason why data must be culled: test runs. There are many times when one runs an experiment several times with slightly different parameters and then choose the best configuration and ignore the others.

I have many sets of data that I may use later as a basis for performing further research, but for the moment they stand alone because I didn't follow them with more measurements under the same configuration. These are perfectly valid results and I keep them for reference in the future but they aren't statistically correlated with other data sets, releasing them would only confuse the issues.

When I release "raw" data that actually means data that was "cooked" under carefully specified conditions, and these conditions are published along with the data so other people may repeat my measurements and compare their own data with mine if necessary.

Re:Data sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36427408)

you pay for access to those data by contributing to the experiment

I am european citizen so this experiment exists because I have pay for it (cern).

There's a reason scientist groups and expert contractors spend years and sometimes decades writing the reconstruction and analysis software for particle physics experiments

Oh, I want also the source code of this software

Re:Data sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36428284)

Actually, the experiments at issue in the referenced article are CDF and DZero, both at Fermilab in the US. Regardless, however:

I see this attitude a lot, and it's understandable, but there's something that people with this position tend to miss:

Scientists ask for funding to research something that we think is interesting and important. We don't ask for money for mahogany desks and frivolities -- we ask for the minimum money required to do the job -- and we often assume that most of the principals will work >60h pw including night shifts on the experiment. You want the data to be publicly accessible in a usable format and the source code to analyze it packaged in a way that it can be run on multiple platforms with all configuration parameter sets and supporting documentation (and technical support when you can't get it to work right)? Fine, but then we ask for funding for that too, and that way, like GP said, you (taxpayers) pay for it. If we don't, then the work we asked for funding for doesn't get done. You want it done for minimum cost and fuss, then you trust the peer review mechanism and the scientific method and all the other mechanisms that have built up over the years to ensure that research can be done well. Otherwise, you get to pay for the extra resources and time it takes to do everything from packaging and documentation for a non-expert user to rebutting all the extra theories and explanation that arise from incorrect use of the software and data and insufficient knowledge of the subject. Particle physicists don't spend that extra 3-8 years it takes to get a PhD swanning around: they spend it gaining the knowledge and skills required to be productive in that field. You don't have those skills and knowledge then your contributions are going to suffer from problems of correctness and credibility.

You wouldn't (I hope) ever tell a lawyer that you could do his job better because you've seen a few courtroom dramas and kept up with Groklaw. Similarly, don't tell a career scientist that he doesn't know his subject because you've seen a couple of NOVA documentaries and read the Bad Astronomy blog and that you can do a better job with just the data and source code.

Re:Data sharing (1)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36428330)

Pick up the can, citizen.

Re:Data sharing (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36426384)

These experiments do not share their data openly (while the experiment is still taking data) because if they did, there would not be any data. The only way to get enough physicists to work on the experiment to make it run well enough to get any data is to restrict data access to those who do service work on the experiment. After the end of data taking, the data may be released, but I don't know the time table on which that typically occurs.

And how exactly do you release raw data? You know, this isn't a well tagged HTML page we are talking about. It is raw binary data, that unless you have all the programs to read and analyze it, it means nothing. Data gets released after it is munged into a state that it can be shared, which means a ton of cleaning up and indexing. It has NOTHING to do with any conspiracy by physicists to keep their data secret for any length of time.

3 years after the end of the experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36440048)

Common (EU) policy framework on scientific data:
http://www.pan-data.eu/imagesGHD/0/08/PaN-data-D2-1.pdf

p.7 - 3.3.3. : ... "Access to raw data and the associated metadata obtained from an experiment is restricted
to the experimental team for a period of 3 years after the end of the experiment."

Re:Data sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424716)

Slashfag symes says people should (be forced to?) give work away. Get's modded Insightful +4.

Some of you dumbfucks even said that Netflix should give their service away and were modded high. You people should get out more to get more of a handle on reality.

Re:Data sharing (1)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425252)

Slashfag symes says people should (be forced to?) give work away. Get's modded Insightful +4.

Some of you dumbfucks even said that Netflix should give their service away and were modded high. You people should get out more to get more of a handle on reality.

Some funders insist that data is made available to other researchers once the funded project is complete, or at least they should have a very good reason why not. Why shouldn't publicly funded research be available to those who funded it, data, papers and all?

Re:Data sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36425994)

personally I think this demonstrates conclusively the universe is female ant the elusive particle is made of uncertainty, it cant make up its mind if its a wave or a particle - hence the mass discrepencies

Eventually share the data (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36426542)

I understand keeping the data to yourself/group while you analyze and perhaps publish. I understand not just throwing out huge data sets for everything, but giving it if asked for. Just as long as the data is not made 'confidential' forever, though I'm sure some (many?) may be classified as 'secret' due to government involvement.

Re:Data sharing (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36427458)

I agree that sharing data is a good thing in general, but in this case, it wasn't a reanalysis of the same data but a second set of data from a different detector, DZero, at the Tevatron, this the original data coming from the CDF detector. The contradiction between the data isn't resolved, but presummably this was some systematic error in the data from the CDF.

---

Particle Physics [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

could it be? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36423996)

perhaps its a quantum particle?? it exists and also doesen't exist....

This can be explained (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36423998)

Turns out some colleagues were in the next room turning hair dryers on and off during the tests.

old news? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424000)

Wasn't there a story on slashdot just last week about the people who released the data saying the same thing?

http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/06/10/1455240/Data-Review-Brings-Major-Setback-In-Higgs-Boson-Hunt

oh, I guess there was.

Re:old news? (1)

guppysap13 (1225926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424094)

If you read the article posted first, it links to the article about this 'discovery',

Physicists have ruled out that the particle could be the standard model Higgs boson, but theorize that it could be some new and unexpected version of the Higgs.

They knew it wasn't the Higgs everyone is looking for from the beginning (which is what the article you have posted is about)

What you are thinking of is the LHC in Europe, whereas this story is about the Tevatron in the United States. As a result off this, now both facilities have had a review turn up this type of result for their data

Re:old news? (3, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424194)

It is the same story. The older article just had a bad title.

Already known? (5, Informative)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424016)

What about this comment [slashdot.org] on the original /. post: D0 has done this same sort of analysis, and they do not see this bump. But, their background modeling procedure involves reweighting the expected distributions (from Monte Carlo) in delta R between the jets (sort of an angular separation between the jets), which is a variable that is strongly correlated with the dijet mass. That is, their background model would be expected to have a strong tendency to fill in a bump like this. Now, which model is more correct is open to question, but it is certainly true that whether or not this bump turns out to be from real new physics (unlikely, in my professional opinion), their procedure is almost guaranteed not to find it.

Re:Already known? (5, Informative)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424330)

That was me. In the analysis released on Friday, D0 does not perform the delta R reweighting (this was a specific criticism that they sought to address). In spite of no delta R reweighting, they still do not see the bump. There are some systematic errors that they handle differently from CDF which are quite likely to explain the result. Some of my colleagues at CDF are investigating (and were investigating before this D0 release, because of a suggestion by a D0 physicist at the release of the original bump paper) these systematics and their effect on our ability to model the data well. I can't really comment further until results are released, however.

repeatability (0)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424062)

True science in action showing how important repeatability is. Kudos to both teams.

Re:repeatability (1)

gclef (96311) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424674)

Except this isn't really repeatability...they're both analysing the same data from the same experiment, just in different ways with different weighting. Repeatability will come with LHC data.

Re:repeatability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424970)

RTFS, it's not the same data.

It is using the same amount of data as CDF reported in April, but this data was collected at a different detector at the collider called DZero.

Your point stands, but try not to make ludicrous errors through absurd laziness, ok?

Re:repeatability (1)

drerwk (695572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425588)

Pretty sure D0 and CDF are each using their own data; different detectors means different data. Maybe the same beam runs though which would give same collision energies.

Old news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424064)

As previously (quite incorrectly as explained in the comments) reported on slashdot: http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/06/10/1455240/Data-Review-Brings-Major-Setback-In-Higgs-Boson-Hunt

We'll call it (1)

belgianguy (1954708) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424244)

the Imaginaton!

Shouldn't be a problem (1)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424266)

Just say it's settled science. Telll your funding sources that there is a consensus among most scientists and call it a new particle.. Grats on your discovery.

Open science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36425524)

True science at its best. Your scientific competitors/collaborators review the data, the analysis and see if there are errors.

If only "climate science" were so open with data and letting their colleagues see the data and the code to see if bias or errors are tainting the pro-carbon-control analysis.

Fermilab (1)

thegreatemu (1457577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424510)

I hate having to be pedantic, but please at least do enough fact-checking to get the name of one of our country's premier scientific institutions right! It's the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) or Fermilab. There is no such thing as Fermi Labs.

Re:Fermilab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424750)

Good thing they used the possessive instead of the plural, then, eh? Yeah, still 2 words, but when you exaggerating their mistake like that, you look like a whiny little douche-head.

Dumb engineering question (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424802)

How do we know that this other detector is working properly?

Re:Dumb engineering question (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425186)

there are a multitude of very common disintegrations plus common cosmic ray events that the detector picks up, these are filtered when searching data for significant events, but they do allow calibration and verification

Quantum Mechanics.... (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424882)

In the spirit of Schrodinger the answer is simple. They are both correct!

One team has observed that the particle/force/energy exists! There-fore it exists... the other team has observed that the particle/force/energy does not exist! There-fore it does not exist!

All we need to do is to get both parties to agree with each other an that will become the final state of the particle/force/energy!

If you don't get the joke then you have a life, go, leave Slashdot, and enjoy it!

Double Slot proof no? (1)

davcorp (465418) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425224)

Was it being observed? I like the fact the results change with every observation of data.. does that data sense new observations and change suit? The implications are fascinating!

LHC scares Fermilab shitless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36425906)

So Fermies comes up with "new interesting results". The oldest trick in the book.

Blind leading the Blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36426442)

They are looking for someone they will ~never find with that machine.. GOD.

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