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SELEX at Fermilab Discovers New Particle

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the ad-infinitum dept.

Science 259

sellthesedownfalls writes "Scientists at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will announce on Friday, June 18 the observation of an unexpected new member of a family of subatomic particles called 'heavy-light' mesons. The new meson, a combination of a strange quark and a charm antiquark, is the heaviest ever observed in this family, and it behaves in surprising ways -- it apparently breaks the rules on decaying into other particles. See the Fermilab Press Release."

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Slashdot Reader Discovers New Oxymoron (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466415)

Heavy-Light Mesons!

Re:Slashdot Reader Discovers New Oxymoron (5, Informative)

p3tersen (227521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466475)

It's a bound state of two quarks. The charm quark is "heavy", i.e. relatively massive, while the the strange quark is less so.

Re:Slashdot Reader Discovers New Oxymoron (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466550)

Sounds like my dating experiences. The charming ones are always fat, while the physically attravtive ones are always strange.

Re:Slashdot Reader Discovers New Oxymoron (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466573)

The charm quark is "heavy", i.e. relatively massive, while the the strange quark is less so.

So, in keeping with the lighthearted naming conventions of the 50s and 60s that brought us "charm" and "strange" in the first place (I voted for "Chocolate" and "Maple Walnut" myself), why not just call it the "Laurel and Hardy" Meson?

KFG

Don't lose your head (-1, Offtopic)

Bring back the old t (784356) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466416)

Like he did [ogrish.com] .

118? (1, Interesting)

briglass (608949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466435)

Who were those guys that faked the discovery of a heavy element?

hehehehe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466436)

woah... cooleys

TODAY'S SLASHDOT SPELLING LESSON (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466449)

you can't spell "Fuck off you mutherfucking pussies" without F AND P

FP

False Alarm (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466463)

My bad, I sneezed into the particle accelerator. Sorry guys.

Re:False Alarm (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466528)

allegedly true story:

when CERN finished the construction of LEP, back in the day, they had a problem when they turned it on. the beam wouldn't align to collide and they had no idea why.

upon further inspection, the problem was (allegedly) caused by a bottle of Heineken left behind in one of the beam tubes by a construction worker...

Re:False Alarm (4, Informative)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9467213)

The alleged story is indeed mostly true (reference here [parascope.com] ) although apparently it was two Heineken bottles, and the the theory of how they got there is that it was a prank, not an oversight during construction.

Rules (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466478)

Many things will end up breaking the "rules" before it's all over.

heavy - light? (0)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466489)

That's kinda like a low-carb can of Jolt.

Re:heavy - light? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466624)

Didn't someone just invent low fat/calorie donuts?

Re:heavy - light? (2, Funny)

shigelojoe (590080) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466899)

Yeah; they're all hole, no donut.

I tell you, man, this Atkins thing is going *way* too far.

Re:heavy - light? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466949)

Didn't someone just invent low fat/calorie donuts?

They've been around for a long time. It's called "baking" and you'l find recipies for them all over the web.

But has anyone invented a low fat, low calorie deep fried lardball?

KFG

What, no pictures? (5, Funny)

BrianMarshall (704425) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466496)

The meson lifetime is 10 (-24) seconds, or about the amount of time it takes light to cross a proton.

Now, I think this is the lifetime of the usual shorter-lived mesons, but still...

Re:What, no pictures? (2, Informative)

sellthesedownfalls (748902) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466699)

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/s elex_photos/index.html

Re:What, no pictures? (5, Informative)

Pi_0's don't shower (741216) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466751)

This is definitely "order of magnitude" a typical strong decay.

There are two things which are unusual about this, however:

1) It's a strong decay, and the particle is more massive than other exotic (with more than just down/up quarks) mesons, but this one lives longer than light mesons in its family. Whether this means it's longer lived than charm-down or charm-up mesons or longer lived than a lighter resonance of charm-strange isn't enunciated here, but either way, that's a surprise. There may be some type of parity conservation at work.

(NB - strong interactions conserve parity)

2) It decays into an eta particle much more often (6x more) than decay into a kaon. This is unusual, because more phase space is available for kaons (they have less mass than etas, therefore it's energetically favorable). Again, this could be related to parity issues, like pion decay (prefers muons over less-massive electrons), but that isn't enunciated here either.

It just goes to show that there's a lot left to investigate just in the basic standard model -- something that a lot of the SUSY/string-loving public forgets quite often. (IAAP, btw)

Re:What, no pictures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9467053)

HMMMMMM... I think I see what you mean.... Thanks for the enlightment!

Stupid question! (3, Insightful)

saderax (718814) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466514)

IANAP(hysicist) ... Do these mesons occur in nature? If not, how can it be claimed a new "discovery." In the same manner, I can glue a poptart to a can of coke and "discover" a new product that has the edible goodness of poptarts and the drinkable properties of coke.

Re:Stupid question! (2, Informative)

Evl (36661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466553)

IANAP either, but I think the idea is that these energies were seen when the universe was very young, so yet they are discoveries.

Re:Stupid question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466563)

Go back some thousands of years. Invent a chair. Now is this a discovery?

Re:Stupid question! (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466638)

You can just think of them as particle archaeologists.

BTM

Re:Stupid question! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466564)

whether they are allowed in nature is more of the issue... in the sense chemical elements (well defined) cannot have arbitrary number of protons and neutrons. even for isotopes, they can't just have any combinations...

Re:Stupid question! (0, Offtopic)

wankledot (712148) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466571)

There are few things on /. that actually make me chuckle, and your hybrid coke-tart (pop-a-cola?) was one of them.

Re:Stupid question! (4, Insightful)

p3tersen (227521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466593)

Do these mesons occur in nature?

Doubtful.

If not, how can it be claimed a new "discovery."

They "discovered" that nature behaves in a certain way. How is it not a "discovery"? You can't call it an "invention" because it's not like they're designing these particles before creating them.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466657)

This the obvious answer. Grand parent's question is not stupid. Grand parent himself is stupid for asking that!

Not a stupid question! (5, Informative)

benhocking (724439) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466598)

Actually, they do occur in nature. Specifically, they occur when a sufficiently energetic cosmic ray strikes our atmosphere.

This is the same reason that many physicists laugh off the idea that they're going to create a mini-black hole that would sink to the earth's core and destroy us all. The universe is constantly running even higher-energy experiments in our atmosphere all the time - we just haven't placed our detectors in the right place! (To be fair to our hard-working particle physicists, you would need a VERY large detector hovering high in the air if you wanted to catch these things in nature.)

Re:Not a stupid question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466940)

thx for the answer :)

Re:Not a stupid question! (1)

glitch! (57276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9467023)

The universe is constantly running even higher-energy experiments in our atmosphere all the time - we just haven't placed our detectors in the right place!

No fair! That would be changing the outcome! :-)

(Full credits to Futurama...)

If they haven't been seen before... (4, Informative)

Anomalous Canard (137695) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466658)

...it's a new discovery!

We certainly expected that there would be a strange-anticharm meson, but until it was observed, there was no way to tell it's mass (except in a very broad range of likely masses for members of the heavy-light mesons) and it's lifetime. Quantum chromodynamics, while in many respects a remarkably precise theory, still has to have the masses of the particles put into the equations. In a real Theory of Everything, we'd be able to calculate the mass of such a meson before we'd seen it.

These particles certainly exist in nature, but because their lifetime is so short, you'd have to be right where they were created to be able to see them before they decayed. Since our detector-on-the-surface-of-a-neutron-star project (affectionately called the DOTSOAN project) has had its funding denied again, the only place we can be observing right where they were created is right here on Earth in the accellerators.

Re:If they haven't been seen before... (1)

Xerxes314 (585536) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466851)

It's not the masses of the mesons that have to be put in by hand, it's the masses of the quarks. In principle, one should be able to compute the masses of all possible mesonic states just by putting in the masses of the few constituent quarks. Of course, in practice, this is quite difficult.

Re:Stupid question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466692)

I can glue a poptart to a can of coke and "discover" a new product that has the edible goodness of poptarts and the drinkable properties of coke.

Yeah, but can you profit from it?

A simple complex answer (1)

heyitsme (472683) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466725)

Unfortunately, your new poptart-coke creation, while tasty, isn't quite the same.

The SELEX experiment (which, incidentally ended in 1997 and this discovery resulted from a reanalysis of data) measures the results of protons colliding with solid targets of copper and diamond.

Of course, we all know what protons and other subatomic particles are(and they we are made up of them). But, we don't know what they are made up of. Enter the quarks, mesons, and gluons.

So, essentially they *do* exist in nature, but not in isolated form.

Re:Stupid question! (2, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466925)

I have mod points, but im going to set them aside to say this: They DO occur in nature, as seen in this very experiment. If they didnt exist, or they were forbidden from existing, then we would never see them in any experiments we conduct. Just because we are causing them to appear by doing various things doesnt mean that the products of such an experiment is outside the scope of nature, and by saying "They dont occur in nature" simply ignores the fact that we are part of nature. If nature didnt want something to happen or occur, we would know about it.

Re:Stupid question! (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9467010)

Dammit, you are my hero.
That was great, but I might have ruined a keyboard...

strange, charm, rule breaker: (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466536)

Now I want to sleep with it.

I feel so dirty.

Re:strange, charm, rule breaker: (0)

cryms0n (52620) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466584)

Hahah good one. :)

Re:strange, charm, rule breaker: (1)

sarah_kerrigan (764949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466625)

Hello,

Well, all you need to get one is 125 physicists, 21 institutions around the world, a modern laboratory, and plenty of patience as your beloved SELEX will leave you so early (or late; well, it depends on what you call long lifetimes...)

Thus, I'm afraid to tell you that there'll be lots of disturbing elements in your relationship...

Kisses
--

Re:strange, charm, rule breaker: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466700)

plenty of patience as your beloved SELEX will leave you so early (or late; well, it depends on what you call long lifetimes...)

10^-24 seconds is probably more than long enough for the average Slashdotter.

Re:strange, charm, rule breaker: (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466777)

Thus, I'm afraid to tell you that there'll be lots of disturbing elements in your relationship...

That'll be the physicists, right?

Re:strange, charm, rule breaker: (2, Funny)

sarah_kerrigan (764949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466854)

Hello,

That'll be the physicists, right?

Sure. They'll spend all the days trying to evaluate the interaction of SELEX and Burgburgburg. It's no good for their relationship...

Kisses
--

Re:strange, charm, rule breaker: A witch?? (1)

fallen1 (230220) | more than 10 years ago | (#9467048)

That's just Shannen Doherty you're thinking about. With the end result being the same - feeling dirty ;-)

A good quote (5, Interesting)

heyitsme (472683) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466541)

I was just reading my copy of Fermilab Today (I am writing this from the lab) and saw this article. Then it appears on slashdot!

The best description of this phenomenon comes from James Ross in the official press release [fnal.gov] :

  • "It's like watching a water bucket with a large hole and small hole in the bottom," Russ said. "For some reason, the water is pouring out the small hole six times faster than it's coming out of the large one. Something unusual must be going on inside the bucket."

Re:A good quote (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466597)

My first suspect would be outside interferance. Isn't that what Heisenberg is all about?

Re:A good quote (1)

heyitsme (472683) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466672)

Heisenberg's theory is less related than you think. Basically, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle says that you cannot simultaneously know both the position and the momentum of a given object to arbitrary(infinite) precision.

From what (little) I understand of this new discovery, it seems to have more to do with quark interaction and symmetry than precise measurements of position and momentum.

Re:A good quote (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466953)

Oh- I thought there was a more general interpretation of Heisenberg available as well- something to the effect that the observer will always affect the experiment at least minimally (in the specific case, the very act of measuring the position throws the momentum meansurment out, and vice versa)? IANAP, though, and much of what I hear from the quantum world sounds like applied technology mimicing magic to begin with.

Sounds like /. (1)

SiMac (409541) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466818)

You sure that was describing the particle and not the Slashdot effect?

Heretics (5, Funny)

BearJ (783382) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466562)

I for one am sick of all these subatomic particles breaking the rules. Surely there must be some sort of law to stop these "dirty hippie" (if you will). They're unconstitutional, and against the american way!

Re:Heretics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466608)

Talk to Orrin Hatch. He's all about legislating the impossible.

Re:Heretics (1, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466646)

Obviously what physicists need to do is give SCO $699 for a research license and a crack pipe.

KFG

Re:Heretics (1)

hkfczrqj (671146) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466764)

I for one am sick of all these subatomic particles breaking the rules.

I know you meant this as a joke. But, seriously, are particles breaking the rules? Do we know all the rules of subatomic particle physics? This reminds me of 'forbidden' transitions in quantum physics.

In other news... (1, Redundant)

path_man (610677) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466591)

...researchers at the famed Max Planck institute in Germany have found other seemingly contradictory particles such as:

the Government Assistance particle

the Military Intelligence particle

the Express Mail particle

and the ever-elusive Flat Breasted particle

The chief scientist of the oxymoron division was quoted as saying, "These particles make about as much sense as screen doors in submarines."

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

DJ Rubbie (621940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466820)

The fire at Los Alamos has had one significant consequence. A secret scientific document was discovered in a bunker whose security systems were mostly destroyed by the fire. This document was leaked to the public last weekend.

Actually it reveals nothing that we didn't already suspect. But it does show that besides arsenic, lead, mercury, radon, strontium and plutonium, one more extremely deadly and pervasive element is known to exist.

This startling new discovery has been tentatively named Governmentium (Gv) but kept top secret for 50 years. The new element has no protons or electrons, thus having an atomic number of 0. It does, however, have 1 neutron, 125 deputy neutrons, 75 supervisory neutrons, and 111 team leader neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, that are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since it has no electrons, Governmentium is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. Governmentium has a normal half-life of approximately three years. It does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the deputy neutrons, supervisory neutrons, and team leader neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium mass will actually increase over time, since, with each reorganization, some of the morons inevitably become neutrons, forming new isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as the "Critical Morass."

http://www.appleseeds.org/governmentium.htm

Drat! (-1, Offtopic)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466601)

Today was my day in the test chamber too! It's just that I was running late, and they hid my HEV suit in a far-away bank of lockers I'd never been to before.

Maybe that guy in the suit had something to do with it, I sure see a lot of him around here.

- Gordon F.


Yeah, off topic, but, c'mon, it's coming. [halflife2.net]

F\irst post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466614)

there are The deve7oper

Johnson Rod (-1, Troll)

bafraid2b1 (649740) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466616)

It's come to the point where this stuff is ridiculous. What everyday person, even /. readers, has any remote idea what the hell these guys are talking about? They mind as well be telling me that my car needs a new Johnson Rod.

That's what they do. They can make up anything. Nobody knows. "By the way, you need a new Johnson rod in there." "Oh, a Johnson rod. Yeah, well, you better put one of those on."

By the way... (-1, Offtopic)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466655)

You need to re-fill your blinker fluid, it's a little low.

Re:Johnson Rod (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466667)

Stuff like this is utterly fascinating. It's another way to examine the universe and try to figure out how it works. Trying to figure out the strong force will help with figuring out nuclear properties. And since everything has nuclei....

Also, experiments like this might poke holes in the Standard Model, which could lead to new area to explore in High Energy physics. Who knows what nature has hidden at the fermi level?

And yes, I used to do particle physics, so this immediatly caught my attention.

Re:Johnson Rod (3, Insightful)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466788)

I think this stuff DOES actually matter, I mean, physicists discovered quantum entanglement and now there's a the tantalizing possibility of the development unbreakable cyphers, quantum computers etc. Who knows what magical technology will come from these seemingly obscure discoveries. And I dare say that it doesn't take a physicist to come up with ways to harness these technologies, all it takes is a curious mind.

BTM

In future times.... (1, Funny)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466617)

First, let me state that I have the greatest respect for the scientists looking for the secrets of the cosmos, and I eat this shit up like crazy whenever I get the chance. I think it's the greatest stuff ever, and hope that every politician who voted against the Superconducting Supercollider burns in hell forever.

That said: can you imagine 500 years from now when teachers are in class, getting past Newton and saying "Oh, and then the 20th century when Einstein and Heisenburg had their theories. Remember how we talked about Gallileo dropping objects and measuring the speed? Well, those 20th century guys did that with quantum mechanics. Get this: they smashed subatomic particles together to figure out what they were made of! Here's a picture. Now, stop laughing - and Jimmy, I see your eyes glazed over, stop downloading porn through your bainjack and pay attention."

I like the way humans think (2, Insightful)

swagr (244747) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466621)

...it apparently breaks the rules...

Because it couldn't be that we've made a mistake. It was the naughty meson's fault.

Re:I like the way humans think (3, Informative)

aducore (649002) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466713)

The rules are just the way we understand things. When something breaks the rules, it means we need to put the rules back together so that they aren't broken as easily.

There's a difference between defying human theories of physics, and defying nature.

Re:I like the way humans think (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466932)

Exactly. When new data breaks your model, it's time to fix your model. That's what science is all about.

Obligatory Futurama quote (2, Funny)

brainstyle (752879) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466670)

Farnsworth: It's a single atom of jumbonium. And element so rare, the nucleus alone is worth more than $50,000.

Bender: How much more?

Farnsworth: $100,000.

Somebody's having a lot of fun at work... (4, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466678)

I don't know what to think of the DsJ+(2632)->Ds(eta)+ and D0K+" meson, but I can tell you these guys have a pretty good thing going for them at their cafetaria [fnal.gov] .

Look at what they had for lunch on 06/17:
Aztec Tortilla Soup
Hot Italian Sub $4.75
Chicken Picata $3.75
Thai Beef $3.75
Roast Beef Cheddar on Kaiser Roll $4.75
Beef Strombolis $2.85
Marinated or Cajun Chicken Caesar Salads $4.75

It's a wonder they got any work done that day...

Re:Somebody's having a lot of fun at work... (3, Informative)

heyitsme (472683) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466761)

It's a wonder they got any work done that day...

With 6800 acres of buffalo, trails, and lakes, not to mention a swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts, a rec center and bar (the alcoholic type) its a wonder we ever get any work done around here :)

Re:Somebody's having a lot of fun at work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466962)

Damn you, now I'm hungry.

Here comes the God Squad. (-1, Troll)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466691)

As soon as I read the bit about this particle "not playing by the rules", I immediately sensed that this article would get picked up by Christian fundamentalists, and used to say, basically, "See? The scientists can't keep their story straight, so science is a false God, blah blah blah"... Watch them go wild when they get their hands on this story. Le sigh.

As a reminder: YES, SCIENCE IS IN THE BUSINESS OF CONTRADICTING ITSELF. That's how you learn. Scientists don't claim to have The Answer, as religionists do. Scientists are on a quest for truth, using solely that which we have actually observed (as compared to that which was written in a large book thousands of years ago) as their guide. Science does sometimes do back-flips, totally reversing its opinion on things. That's just how it goes.

Re:Here comes the God Squad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466769)

nice troll....

Re:Here comes the God Squad. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466810)

jlb@twu.net

No such thing as "breaks the rules" (5, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466693)

If the data and rules disagree (and the data is valid) then "the rules" were never ever really correct. This is the most interesting and cognitively confounding element of science. So many experiments cause the perceived "rules" to change when in fact the true rules of the universe never change, only our approximations and estimations of them. This is why I wonder if so much of science is really just curve-fitting (F = m*a + delta, where delta contains relativistic effects, quantum effects, etc.) Similarly, I wonder if E = mc^2 + delta, where delta includes effects unseen because we haven't tested the formula over the entire span of possible conditions (energies, distances, mass concentrations, etc.)

As an aside, a friend in college was religious because of this very issue. He hated the fact that science couldn't "make up its mind" abut what was true or not -- for him, an erroneous certainty was more comfortable than a changing, but progressively more correct uncertainty.

Re:No such thing as "breaks the rules" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466909)

As an aside, a friend in college was religious because of this very issue. He hated the fact that science couldn't "make up its mind" abut what was true or not -- for him, an erroneous certainty was more comfortable than a changing, but progressively more correct uncertaint

Now, was that really necessary, or did you just feel the need to spark the whole religion vs. science debate?

Re:No such thing as "breaks the rules" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466912)

Science really is just curve fitting. That is why the undergrads at Caltech use a program called "CurveFit". http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/~vsanni/ph3/ [caltech.edu] (CurveFit is near the bottom of the page.) Science doesn't require absolute truth, only successive approximations basedon empirical knowledge (or 'experience' in plain English). The idea that you can know absolute truth - and the need to prove yourself right when you don't know what you are talking about - are carry-overs from classical philosophers, such as Aristotle who got the rules of gravity wrong because he rested his case on only one experiment (the feather and the rock experiment).

Re:No such thing as "breaks the rules" (1)

sellthesedownfalls (748902) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466914)

Of course, the great thing about science is that: when "the rules" are broken, new things are discovered and "the rules" change. That's inherent to research.

I would definitely agree with your statement that a lot of science is a best fit line sort of operation. Scientists are continuously seeking a better fit to that line...with the goal of one day finding the line itself.

Re:No such thing as "breaks the rules" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466933)

Right here lies the difference between Mathematics and Nature Sciences: In itself Mathematics has its beauty and consistency- here we create rules and theorems which always hold, just by imagination in our heads. But it gets unbelievable as soon we realize that for nearly all mathematical theories mankind imagined without reason for it, nature has wonders for us that work exactly like we dreamed of before.

Re:No such thing as "breaks the rules" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9467090)

No, actually the rules were confirmed as of two years ago to be final. Any new scientific discoveries that contradict our knowledge as of that date do in fact break the rules. I feel that widespread panic is the only reasonable response to this discovery.

String theory implications? (4, Interesting)

jwkane (180726) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466697)

Obviously any experiment that yields unexpected and reproducable results is great news for quantum theorists.

I'm wondering if the theoretical predictions presented in the article tip the scales toward or away from any of the various theories of quantum structure. In particular:

"SELEX also saw the new meson decay about six times more often than expected into an eta particle (a rarer but well-studied member of the meson family), rather than into the expected particle, called a K meson."

It seems obvious that this experiment highlights a failure in our understanding of the strong force.

Re:String theory implications? (1)

sellthesedownfalls (748902) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466946)

It seems obvious that this experiment highlights a failure in our understanding of the strong force. But that's good, you see. Because it forces a revision in thinking...it encourages creativity and new research.

Just as I suspected... (3, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466719)

It really is turtles all the way down.

It's about time... (1)

JRHelgeson (576325) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466738)

Scientists have finally discovered the black sheep in the nuclear family... ...sorry

They're not so smart... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466750)

"The distribution of the D0 K+ combined mass for all candidates in the data sample including Anti-particle combinations (D0bar K-). There are two clear peaks. The lower, at a mass of 2570 MeV/c2, is the known DsJ(2573) meson, discovered in 1994. This peak's width is more than the detector resolution showing the the "natural width (Gamma)" of this state due to its short lifetime. The value measured for the natural width of 14 MeV/c2 is consistent with previous measurements. The detector resolution is better by a factor of 2 in this D0 K+ decay mode than in the Ds+ eta0 mode making Selex more sensitive to the lifetimes of these state in this decay mode."

Shit man, I could of told you that.

WELL (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466774)

thats just strange. but in a way, charming.

Re:WELL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466957)

wow, that was fucking hilarious. why dont you get a job as a comedian?

...or not.

Just be glad your job title isn't... (0, Offtopic)

sharp-bang (311928) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466778)

"SELEX deputy cospokesperson"

There is a whirlpool in the bucket. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466798)

"It's like watching a water bucket with a large hole and small hole in the bottom," Russ said. "For some reason, the water is pouring out the small hole six times faster than it's coming out of the large one. Something unusual must be going on inside the bucket."

If you follow that anology, the small hole may have a whirlpool giving it the speed advantage.

Kinda like spinning water in a 2L coke bottle and then turning it upside down. The water falls out much faster than the big hole doing the ol glub glub.

Its a displacement thing.

Break out the Doohan impressions... (2, Funny)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466815)

"Cap'n - I think if we reverse the heavy light mesons, we can interuupt the Klingon's charmed anti-quark field just long enuf to escape!"

Shatner: "Scotty, you only have 60 seconds, hurry!"


And, BTW, congrats to the Fermi team. I have plenty of friends employed there, I always like to see new discoveries. Good job, guys.

If it weren't for deviations like this... (2, Insightful)

Theovon (109752) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466829)

... quantum physics would start to get pretty boring after a while.

It's always fun to find a fault in the theory and then find a way to fix the theory, especially when that fix is elegant and makes all sorts of really cool predictions that you could not have made before.

For a good time, read the preprint. (2, Informative)

Garin (26873) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466833)

Those fine folks who subscribe to my arXiv.org RSS feeds probably have already read the full paper:

http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ex/0406045

My RSS feeds can be found at:

http://www.ucalgary.ca/~cmhogan/arXivRDF/

Using the force? (1)

JRHelgeson (576325) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466837)

"It's like watching a water bucket with a large hole and small hole in the bottom," Russ said. "For some reason, the water is pouring out the small hole six times faster than it's coming out of the large one. Something unusual must be going on inside the bucket."

This first observation of the new meson expands the picture of the ways in which the strong force works within the atomic nucleus... A meson is made up of a quark and an antiquark, bound together by the strong force."


So they admit that the force is strong with this one...

Re:Using the force? (1)

Digidraoi (765772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9467112)

Must be the Meso-chlorians in the particle stream...

PENIS BIRD (-1, Troll)

T3H_N3RD (788951) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466877)

http://smoke.rotten.com/bird/

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8====D

http://smoke.rotten.com/bird/

Re:PENIS BIRD (0, Offtopic)

T3H_N3RD (788951) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466891)

http://smoke.rotten.com/bird/

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8====D

http://smoke.rotten.com/bird/
http: //smoke.rotten.com/bird/

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http://smoke.rotten.com/bird/

Bring Back Truth and Beauty! (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466896)

Originally the quark names were up, down, strange charm, truth and beauty. Then they changed truth and beauty to top and bottom. This is confusing. Why is up and top both used? Is top more up than up, ie. the most up?

Part of the fun of physics is the cool names. Top and bottom are boring. Perhaps they're exciting to certain persons of a particular sort of alternative lifestyle, and more power to 'em, but physics should be flashy and cool, with its WINOs and WIMPs, not boring with top and bottom.

I for one.... (2, Funny)

alexborges (313924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466927)

... Wellcome our new subatomic, particle supercharged, dually quarked master

PENIS BIRDIE (0, Troll)

T3H_N3RD (788951) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466947)

< )
( \
X
8====D
ALL HAIL THE PENIS BIRDIE!

Don't run afoul of the DMCA (2, Funny)

ScooterBill (599835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9467097)

"It's like watching a water bucket with a large hole and small hole in the bottom," Russ said. "For some reason, the water is pouring out the small hole six times faster than it's coming out of the large one. Something unusual must be going on inside the bucket."

Doesn't this attempted decryption of the universe break a provision in the DMCA? If that's not applicable, then I'm sure Microsoft will be getting a patent on it any day now.

Like a slashdotter (1)

ameline (771895) | more than 10 years ago | (#9467173)

It's strange, anti-charming, and overweight. Probably wears glasses and doesn't bathe regularly too. (ducking quickly :-)
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