Story at a glance

  • Scientists have found evidence that a relatively recently discovered subatomic particle is breaking the existing laws of physics.
  • It’s not clear what forces are influencing the particle, and there is still more research to be done.
  • The finding has generated both excitement and speculation in the scientific community and online.

There’s a new subatomic particle in town and it’s breaking all the rules — of physics that is. 

“This has been a long time coming,” said University of Manchester physicist Mark Lancaster, one of more than 200 scientists from seven countries that were part of the Muon g-2 collaboration, reported National Geographic. “Many of us have been working on it for decades.”


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The muon is an elementary particle similar to the electron, but with a much greater mass, that was first discovered in the 1930s. For a long time, they were thought to adhere to the Standard Model of particle physics, a set of equations describing three of the four known fundamental forces in the universe — electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force and the strong nuclear force — and how they interact with one another.

Now, scientists have found evidence that some muons are disobeying that model, suggesting that there are forces at work that are not yet known or fully understood to humans. But the results are only based on 6 percent of the total data researchers are collecting, which means there’s still more to come. 


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The finding, which will be published in several scientific journals, has the potential to upset human understanding of the nature and evolution of the universe — if only scientists can figure out what forms of matter and energy are behind the observations. 

Without any scientific explanation, those online were left with their own hypotheses.  

 


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Published on Apr 07, 2021