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Particle Chameleon Caught in the act of Changing

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posted on May, 31 2010 @ 07:15 AM

The OPERA experiment at the INFN's Gran Sasso lab has seen tau particle appearance in a muon neutrino beam from CERN

Geneva 31 May 2010. Researchers on the OPERA experiment at the INFN1’s Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy today announced the first direct observation of a tau particle in a muon neutrino beam sent through the Earth from CERN2, 730km away. This is a significant result, providing the final missing piece of a puzzle that has been challenging science since the 1960s, and giving tantalizing hints of new physics to come.

“The OPERA experiment has reached its first goal: the detection of a tau neutrino obtained from the transformation of a muon neutrino, which occurred during the journey from Geneva to the Gran Sasso Laboratory,” added Lucia Votano, Director Gran Sasso laboratories. “This important result comes after a decade of intense work performed by the Collaboration, with the support of the Laboratory, and it again confirms that LNGS is a leading laboratory in Astroparticle Physics”.

“This is an important step for neutrino physics,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “My congratulations go to the OPERA experiment and the Gran Sasso Laboratories, as well as the accelerator departments at CERN. We’re all looking forward to unveiling the new physics this result presages.”

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 12:57 PM
Cool, thanks for posting that. Does anybody have a relatively straightforward english translation of what 'potential future implications' this could have for science?


posted on May, 31 2010 @ 02:45 PM
Did we make this particle or accelerate it faster than the
speed of light.
What are they talking about.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 02:54 PM
No I don't think so. Its strictly observation of behaviour. The excitement seem to be the observed behaviour having implications on the validity of the standard model. I too would appreciate some comment from somebody with a stronger physics grounding. I suspect this is more important than i'm grasping at present.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 02:55 PM
I don`t understand it very well either, but I found this on another site, some guys were talking about it:

Basically, in more simple terms, they send a beam which is 100% made out of muons from CERN, and it arrives at the Gran Sasso laboratory, and they detected a tau particle.
Neutrino oscillation is basically that a neutrino is measured to be one "flavour" [that's the scientific term] (electron, muon or tau, as you can see above.), and when they measure it later, it's another flavour. In this case it went from a muon to a tau particle.

What impact does this have on Physics? It proves that there have to be other types of particles and/or matter which we currently don't know about.

So by accelerating a particle, it somehow turned into a different flavour of the same particle?

Well, sort of. They accelerated the particle (Particles, actually, because manipulating a single one is borderline impossible), focused them into a beam, and shot them through Earth into that other lab. Along the way it became a Tau Neutrino.

Edit to add: Here is the discussion

[edit on 31/5/10 by sandri_90]

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 03:27 PM
That helps a little.

So the question seems to be, what is the interaction that caused the change in the neutrino as it passed through the earth? What did it interact with?

Its not clear wether this is confirming a previously theorised mechanism. Or its something totally unexpected?

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 03:31 PM
very interesting ...!

i think, and stress..Think, that they have observes a particle changing from one state to another (from one type of particle to another) ... and this coudl shed light on how particles are made / put together.

theirs also something about a beam distance, so it could just be that they have manage to send one particle, or change it remotely ...

but hey, im no particle physicist... its just fun to speculate and hopefully someone can come to the post and shed a bit of light on it

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