Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Fermilab Scientists Discover New Particle

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the isn't-it-cute dept.

Science 151

An anonymous reader writes "Fermilab today announced that scientists working at the CDF (Collision Detector at Fermilab) experiment confirmed the observation of a new particle, the Xi-sub-b. The Xi-sub-b is categorized as a baryon, which are formed of three quarks. Commonly known baryons include the proton as well as the neutron."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Really new? (3, Funny)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36827946)

My guess is they've discovered an old particle.

Re:Really new? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36827984)

One comment in, and already the comment section for this article is too pedantic to read. Good job /.

(Now commences the -1 votes against this comment for hitting too close to home.)

Re:Really new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828686)

(Now commences the -1 votes against this comment for hitting too close to home.)

Is this an attempt at reverse psychology or just a means for you to justify saying "I told you so!", even to yourself?

Re:Really new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828772)

/\
|| * point pretty close to home


(Here goes comments from said butthurt part to belittle the point that came close to home)

Re:Really new? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830096)

One comment in, and already the comment section for this article is too pedantic to read. Good job /.

Sorry for being pedantic, but I think you meant too stupid.

Re:Really new? (4, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828000)

Nope. They made them.

It's possible, even likely, that something somewhere else (supernova, the big bang, etc.) made some in olden times. But these were brand-spankin' new.

Re:Really new? (2)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828120)

Nope. They made them.

It's possible, even likely, that something somewhere else (supernova, the big bang, etc.) made some in olden times. But these were brand-spankin' new.

And I get called pedantic!

Given that energy and/or matter cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another, I submit that nothing was "made" here, only converted from the same energy that had existed since the moment of the big bang.

Re:Really new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828234)

Nope. They made them.

It's possible, even likely, that something somewhere else (supernova, the big bang, etc.) made some in olden times. But these were brand-spankin' new.

And I get called pedantic!

Given that energy and/or matter cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another, I submit that nothing was "made" here, only converted from the same energy that had existed since the moment of the big bang.

Yes, and my cell phone is billions of years old.

my cell phone is billions of years old. (2)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829242)

I guess thats why the cell phone company keeps sending me 'free upgrade' offers. (I am happy with my existing phone thankyou.

Does anyone know if you can make stuff with this new particle? Protons and neutrons make up the nuclei of atoms...

(What is the charge of this new particle? I don't really care about the spin, I will leave that to Fox news.

Re:Really new? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828326)

Nope. They made them.

It's possible, even likely, that something somewhere else (supernova, the big bang, etc.) made some in olden times. But these were brand-spankin' new.

And I get called pedantic!

Given that energy and/or matter cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another, I submit that nothing was "made" here, only converted from the same energy that had existed since the moment of the big bang.

Umm... How do you think we make antimatter at CERN? How do you think antimatter behaves when exposed to matter? Matter can be made and destroyed, but energy can only be converted from one form to another (matter is just a form of energy). You may say semantics, but that is a huge difference.

Re:Really new? (1)

rivetgeek (977479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828536)

whomever is modding this down doesn't understand basic physics. This is correct. Matter can certainly become "not matter" E=MC^2

Re:Really new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36829002)

You mean '"Whoever". It's basic English.

Re:Really new? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829090)

whomever is modding this down doesn't understand basic physics. This is correct. Matter can certainly become "not matter" E=MC^2

Agreed. That would be through a conversion process and would require a great deal of energy, but none of it would be "destroyed", only converted. This is the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy). Basically, Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. It can only change forms. In any process in an isolated system, the total energy remains the same.

Re:Really new? (1)

noodler (724788) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830052)

E=MC^2

The M stands for Mass, not Matter.
Not all Matter has Mass.
So this equation only sometimes applies.

Re:Really new? (1)

rivetgeek (977479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830184)

I'd love to hear of a form of matter that holds no mass. Having mass is basically the definition of matter.

Re:Really new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830296)

Have you ever heard of a neutrino [wikipedia.org] ?

I'm thinking that may have been the "matter" that had been thought of as being without mass, although it does appear to have a very small amount of mass none the less. There is nothing, however, that requires matter or particles to have mass, and neutrinos for many years were thought of as particles without mass, and thus matter.

Re:Really new? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828810)

Your concept of antimatter is a bit simplistic. Matter (and antimatter) are forms of energy. If you expose matter to anti-matter you get (a huge amount) of energy. Nothing is lost in the process. Anti-matter is simply matter that is composed of antiparticles. Antiparticles are exactly the same as their particle counterpart, except with an opposite charge.

Hawking was the only respected physicist I'm aware of in modern times that tried to claim that something (quantum information in this case) could be destroyed (the black hole information paradox), but he admitted to being incorrect several years later.

Of course, quantum physics is a strange world where common sense and intuition are alien, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility that a case where energy/matter could be destroyed may yet be discovered, but I'm not aware of any cases at the present time.

Then again, I'm not a theoretical physicist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

Re:Really new? (2)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828710)

That's not actually true of particle physics, but even if it was, you'd be wrong. The essence of the thing is not just its constituent parts. You can't look at an ingot of steel and say that it's a sword until it's been shaped. Likewise, you can have a bunch of energy, but it's not a Xi_b until you make it one.

Re:Really new? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829620)

You are looking at the sword wrong. It is just a lump of steel, just like any other.

Re:Really new? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829362)

You're right, and to prove it you didn't even make an argument.

Why even have the word "make", since all things were made at the dawn of time and now we don't "make", we just "rearrange". What a stupid word this "make" is made out to be. It makes me so ANGRY.

Zzzzzzzzz.....

Re:Really new? (1)

MichaelKristopeit410 (2018830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828046)

my guess is you don't understand relativity

Re:Really new? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828074)

I understand you feeb.

Re:Really new? (1)

MichaelKristopeit411 (2018832) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828138)

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

cower in my shadow some more behind your chosen subservient based pseudonym, little boy.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Really new? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828158)

Aww, c'mon! And I was sure you were going to call me feeb, Guess I stole your thunder.

Re:Really new? (1)

MichaelKristopeit412 (2018834) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828330)

Guess i stole ur mum's facer thunder.

c'mon, cower some more.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Really new? (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828408)

One day you will die from a bad subluxation. I am sure that Dr.Bob could confirm it.

Re:Really new? (1)

MichaelKristopeit412 (2018834) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828518)

One day ur mum's face will die from a bad subluxation.

cower in my shadow some more behind your chosen brushed hide based pseudonym, feeb.

i'm sure you're completely pathetic.

Re:Really new? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828080)

No, you're wrong. It IS old, but they descoverred it.

Re:Really new? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828248)

No, you're wrong. It IS old, but they descoverred it.

That would make it a new discovery, not a new particle.

Re:Really new? (1)

flibuste (523578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829104)

No, you're wrong. It IS old, but they descoverred it.

That would make it a new discovery, not a new particle.

I would go as far as to say it is neither a new particle, or a new discovery. It is a confirmation that a particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model [wikipedia.org] actually does. Which will allow for (even) more confidence in this model and more discoveries to be made.

But that is just me being pedantic ;-)

Re:Really new? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829266)

It is a confirmation that a particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model [wikipedia.org] actually does. Which will allow for (even) more confidence in this model and more discoveries to be made.

I agree 100%. That's really what I was getting at in my original post, but it got picked apart. In my way of thinking, a "Discover New Particle" would entail the discovery of a particle that had not been previously contemplated, whether found through experimental or theoretical (mathematical) means.

Re:Really new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36829568)

> Commonly known baryons include the proton as well as the neutron.

Oh, Proton, oh Proton, we baryonly knew ye...

Science! (4, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36827968)

Favorite quotes from TFA:

"existence of the Xi-sub-b has been predicted for some time"

"the Xi-sub-b was observed in 25 instances among almost 500 trillion proton-antiproton collisions"

Growing list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36827996)

Yet another new particle to add to that long list to obfuscate things even more. Maybe it's time for a full re-write rather than another patch?

Re:Growing list (2)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828168)

No, it's *not* another new particle. It's a new arrangement of particles we have known about since the 1970's, when such a re-write happened and the quark model was introduced.

Re:Growing list (0)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828616)

I know I'm just ignorant on the subject but at times it seems that smashing particles together to find new particles makes as much sense as smashing chairs together to find out new chairs.

Oh look a new type of splinter, how do we figure this one into the model?

My god, we found the elusive peg particle that holds the back to the seat! This has been theorized to exist for centuries and now we have proof!

Re:Growing list (1)

Calydor (739835) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828720)

I think it's more like tossing a huge oak tree into a shredder to see if among the remains you might find a brand new shape of wood chip.

Re:Growing list (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829018)

In this case, it's more like tossing a couple of built Lego models together to see if you get a new Lego model out.

Or Capcella, Construx, Robotix, Rokenbok, Tinker Toy, Lincoln Logs, dirt, etc...

I knew it! (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828006)

Something felt totally different today :)

Seti Alpha 5... (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828034)

The real question is if this is something we can transplant.

Re:Seti Alpha 5... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828112)

This IS Seti Alpha V !!!!

Re:Seti Alpha 5... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828118)

Depends, might have to do a baryon sweep first.

Re:Seti Alpha 5... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828276)

Did you mean Ceti Alpha V?

http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Ceti_Alpha_V [memory-alpha.org]

Re:Seti Alpha 5... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828414)

Or is it VI, only Khan knows.

Awesome. (0)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828092)

I'm glad these folks continue to make discoveries and such, even after all the layoffs and knowing that their funding has been cut off after FY 2011.

Good on them, and I hope they all find great places to work. Maybe across the pond where gov's still fund research.

Original paper (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828094)

http://arxiv.org/abs/1107.3753

Re:Original paper (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828154)

Despite being posted by an AC, I can confirm thats the real thing and not a link to the 2G1C particle or something like that.

Check out the multi-page list of authors... lots of people getting resume stuffing today.

Re:Original paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828666)

Despite being posted by an AC

The goatse guy always creates a new account to post.

Re:Original paper (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829500)

When were you posted by an AC?

saved me the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828146)

That was on my list of things to do today, but I guess I can scratch that one out!

Yawn... (2, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828148)

They haven't discovered a new fundamental particle. All they've done is to arrange some quarks into an arrangement we've already known about.

This is an engineering accomplishment -- sticking together an up, a strange, and a bottom quark to make a bound state. It doesn't represent any great discovery in physics; people have known for a long while that such a particle exists, simply from the properties of quarks. In fact, lattice QCD has been able to simulate such things for a while now, and (although I have not seen such a result) could calculate its mass.

Making a big deal about this could be a political move, since the Tevatron (the particle accelerator that the CDF is attached to) is due to shut down soon.

Re:Yawn... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828176)

They haven't discovered a new fundamental particle. All they've done is to arrange some quarks into an arrangement we've already known about.

This is an engineering accomplishment -- sticking together an up, a strange, and a bottom quark to make a bound state. It doesn't represent any great discovery in physics; people have known for a long while that such a particle exists, simply from the properties of quarks. In fact, lattice QCD has been able to simulate such things for a while now, and (although I have not seen such a result) could calculate its mass.

Making a big deal about this could be a political move, since the Tevatron (the particle accelerator that the CDF is attached to) is due to shut down soon.

The space shuttle is merely a peculiar arrangement of aluminum atoms, nothing to see there...

Re:Yawn... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828206)

There are a lot more ways to arrange aluminium atoms than there are to arrange three quarks in a baryon.

Re:Yawn... (2)

tenco (773732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828486)

Confirming that this particle actually exists, otoh, is a completely different kind of story.

Re:Yawn... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829218)

Confirming that the bottom quark existed -- now *that* was a big, huge deal. But once that was done, the existence of this thing is pretty much a given.

All the quarks have the same strong-force interactions, so you can just as readily make a baryon out of any combination of them. This is where the quark model came from -- the need to understand the proliferation of baryons.

Everyone's familiar with the thing you make out of two ups and a down (proton) and two downs and an up (neutron). But there are also four spin 3/2 particles called deltas that you can make out of ups and downs: uuu, uud, udd, and ddd. So that's six particles using just the lightest two sorts of quarks. If you allow for the use of the lightest five flavors of quarks, you get hundreds of the things. Once upon a time it was sort of a big deal to discover new baryons, since nobody knew why there were so many of the things. Now we do -- we know they're just different combinations of the same basic things.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36829978)

"pretty much a given" is not "experimentally observed". It's a prediction of the standard model; and every accessible prediction should be tested.

Re:Yawn... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828290)

sticking together a top, a strange, and a bottom quark to make a bound state.

Sounds more like they are downloading gay porn.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36829008)

Gotta love BDSM-loving physics professors...

Re:Yawn... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828420)

One we theorized existed. Now we know. Not all physics is done with paper and pen.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828682)

They haven't discovered a new fundamental particle. All they've done is to arrange some quarks into an arrangement we've already known about.

This is an engineering accomplishment -- sticking together an up, a strange, and a bottom quark to make a bound state. It doesn't represent any great discovery in physics; people have known for a long while that such a particle exists, simply from the properties of quarks. In fact, lattice QCD has been able to simulate such things for a while now, and (although I have not seen such a result) could calculate its mass.

Making a big deal about this could be a political move, since the Tevatron (the particle accelerator that the CDF is attached to) is due to shut down soon.

I can tell you're not an engineer.

Do you fall into this 5 year group?
http://xkcd.com/678/

Re:Yawn... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829100)

No, I'm not. I'm a physicist who studies the behavior of hadrons and quarks, so this is sort of relevant to my field. There are some particle physics discoveries that would be an absolutely huge deal -- say, the hints from lattice QCD measurements of the CKM matrix elements that may foretell new physics -- but this isn't one of them.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830500)

Often the results are what yo[u expect, still good work and in this case there was a pretty clever approach used for detection that used 5 tracks.

Re:Yawn... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828776)

No, in the 70s we had a model which might or might not have given useful physical results. Now we discover a neutral combination of strange, up and bottom quarks that further prove the model is useful (an ongoing endeavor for decades). this is a big deal, a fundamental discovery in physics that further validates a model that needs continued validation, not a mere "engineering accomplishment".

Re:Yawn... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829084)

No, that model very much does *not* need continued validation. Perhaps its detailed consequences do, simply because QCD is nonperturbative and requires large Monte Carlo calculations to solve, but what combinations of quarks you can stick together as a baryon is not one of those things.

It turns out that you can start with that model (the phrase "SU(3) Yang-Mills theory" and an extremely vague idea of what the quark masses are) and a handful (read: less than five) experimental inputs -- not even the quark masses -- and a supercomputer, and measure the masses of all the hadrons you care to calculate. Many of those measurements are fantastically precise, and are sometimes even better than those done by experiments.

This has been done and is ongoing -- I just got back from a conference in the field. Let me reiterate: you can start with nothing more than a description of what the quark model is (the QCD Lagrangian) and a couple of physical observations (which are used to figure out what the quark masses and coupling constant are) and from that calculate pretty much anything about hadrons you care to calculate, and it all comes out right. (Sometimes the answer is "This is hard and this computation needs more computing power", since it's all done Monte Carlo, but that doesn't change anything.)

Re:Yawn... (2)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829434)

Many of those measurements are fantastically precise, and are sometimes even better than those done by experiments.

That is an interesting definition of the word "measurement". Don't you perhaps mean "prediction"?

It ain't measured until it's actually measured, in my book. But perhaps I'm old-fashioned.

Re:Yawn... (1)

adri (173121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829954)

No, you're not old fashioned. It's that a lot of physicists have been stuck in the realm of physical philosophy for a while, waiting for funding and techniques to catch up to actually do the experiments they're dreaming up.

It does seem that the core ideas of science are again being confused with philosophy and religious dogma. Oh, how the old is new again..

Re:Yawn... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829508)

You are confusing hypothesis and knowledge. Science doesn't.

Re:Yawn... (1)

VynlSol (1687610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830528)

"They haven't discovered a new fundamental particle." Nor did they discover a new way to produce tequila. The one thing these two statements have in common? Neither premise was stated in TFA. It is a big deal, and I remain fascinated.

Grammar FAIL... (1)

Sicily1918 (912141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828164)

The Xi-sub-b is categorized as are baryon, which are formed of three quarks.

'Are' baryon... Really?

Then again, quoting further:

...the Tevatron is not a dedicated bottom quark “factpory.”

Sigh...

Re:Grammar FAIL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828292)

OMG SOMEONE MADE A TYPO. INFORM THE INTERNET.

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Re:Grammar FAIL... (1)

Opyros (1153335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830244)

How are you gentlemen? All of your baryon are belong to us!

They should call it the Dan particle (1)

Normal Dan (1053064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828222)

I've always wanted a particle named after me and feel entitled to it.

Re:They should call it the Dan particle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828348)

As a fellow Dan I wholeheartedly agree.

Re:They should call it the Dan particle (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828496)

I'm not a Dan, but hey, they called it.

Re:They should call it the Dan particle (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829092)

Dibs on the next particle name!

Re:They should call it the Dan particle (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829522)

They're waiting to discover a new strange particle first. Just to fuck with your username.

not the higgs boson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828312)

therefore it fade into /. oblivion within the next could hours

Useful? (0, Flamebait)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828378)

With no disrespect, does the observation of this very short-lived particle take us anywhere useful? Cleaner fission? Fusion? New nano materials that would change our lives? Speaking practically, we can't afford to fund every particle physics experiment that researchers can think of. Why was this a good one to have funded?

Re:Useful? (0)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828472)

Steam engines had no practical use for 500 years.

Re:Useful? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830200)

Even longer than that. The Greeks invented a steam engine [wikipedia.org] in the 1st century, but couldn't think of any uses for it and so it remained a curiosity.

Re:Useful? (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828658)

With no disrespect, does the observation of this very short-lived particle take us anywhere useful?

Since they hypothesized its existence prior to experimental evidence and discovery, it helps confirm developed notions and theories inherent in the standard model. Useful to who: particle physicist and folks needing some publicity to keep those kinds of programs alive in these days of spending cuts, not so useful for the general public in the short term. Long term, who knows, and for me it is more motivation for me to not drop out of my BS Physics program knowing that we don't know it all.

Re:Useful? (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829480)

more motivation for me to not drop out of my BS Physics program knowing that we don't know it all.

Um, but doesn't "we discovered a particle predicted by existing theory" rather suggest that we do know it all and there's nothing useful left to be done in particle physics?

I hope that's not true, of course, but this seems the "yawn, next" kind of discovery rather than the "hmmmm, what the?" kind.

Re:Useful? (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830134)

Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unsolved_problems_in_physics [wikipedia.org] . We most definitely do not know it all, we know much, but there remain many unresolved questions that have real world implications outside of research labs. Even if we find out that all the particles in the standard model exist and behave as theories show they should, that still doesn't reconcile quantum mechanics with general relativity.

Re:Useful? (3, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828726)

You're thinking of engineering or applied science at best. You won't know the benefits of fundamental research until later. You know, little things like electricity and semiconductors.

Re:Useful? (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828790)

Yes. Based on our understanding of how the universe works we predicted this particle existed. We have now proven that it does exist. Thus we have additional evidence that things work the way we think they do at very, very low levels.

Re:Useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828824)

If you don't understand the value of fundamental research then your opinion on funding is worthless. Sorry. There's a reason there are funding bodies and it's a good thing that people like you have no say in it. Just accept that there are experts that decide this kind of things.

Re:Useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828832)

So many useful technologies and discoveries had the same things questioned of them.

Re:Useful? (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828846)

It's a step forward in the race against human ignorance.

Also, the Fermilab is cheap. Their annual budget is equivalent to one day of war in Afganistan.

Re:Useful? (2)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828880)

Number theory was known as the most useless of all branches of mathematics, yet now you couldn't pay your bills online without the public key cryptography it has made possible. By your standard of what should be investigated, we would still be banging big rocks together. Now we are banging tiny, tiny atoms together. That's progress.

Re:Useful? (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829044)

Yes. Speaker cables.

We haven't decided whether Xi-sub-b free cables or cables with a surplus of Xi-sub-b will sell better. But we'll be ready when marketing figures it out.

Re:Useful? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829550)

I'm not sure we funded it on purpose.

It's something that was found in data taken by the Tevatron, which we funded on purpose because it could tell us a lot of things.

Given the enormous ratio of attempts to successes, it's likely that they never even did one run trying to cause these to appear. They were probably tiny gaps in tracks taken for other purposes, data-mined and correlated to the theoretical model.

So we probably got it for free.

Learn TeX. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36828566)

Did the summary intend \Xi_{b} or \Chi_{b}?

Made on purpose or by chance? (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36828834)

Could someone more knowledgeable clarify the following to me?

Was this particle made "by chance" (i.e. collisioning two particles and hoping something "new" will be made) or is was this made on purpose (i.e. We are trying to create the Xi_sub_b by colliding this stuff this and this way.. success! And this process would be repeatable)

Pardon my ignorance, but what would be the big deal about discovering that particles that could exist in theory have been artificially created, maybe for a very short amount of time?

Re:Made on purpose or by chance? (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829130)

Really ? You know, if one can't find particles that a model predicts, the model is likely to be crap. Being able to validate a model, lends credit to assumptions made in developing the model.

Re:Made on purpose or by chance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36829142)

It provides evidence that the theory is correct.

Re:Made on purpose or by chance? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36829592)

They probably found anomalies in tracks in other experiments, and didn't figure out what they were until several of them had been observed. 2.5e1 hits out of 5e14 attempts suggests strongly though that someone went looking for any anomaly they could find in old data. It's hard to believe anyone would notice them in any particular plotted screenshot. Or maybe they took the catalog of predicted particles and tried to match it to existing data. Whichever, it's good science.

Re:Made on purpose or by chance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830548)

New triggers were setup just for this experiment. Most of the data from CDF is discarded otherwise there is too much of it. So this was fairly recent data for this observation. Because of limitation of how the detector works a clever 5 track decay was what they were looking for.

they found the USB baryon! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36829198)

considering the nice letters and abbreviations they use, you can also produce other interesting acronyms :
CCD, BUT, TSS ...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?