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Excitement is based on an analysis of eight years of data collected by Fermilab's CDF experiment that looked at collisions that produced a W boson, carrier of the weak nuclear force, along with two jets of quarks
The CDF team has analysed nearly twice the amount of data the first result was based on, and the result has not gone away. In fact, as CDF physicist Giovanni Punzi told a conference this week in Blois, France, the signal has only gotten stronger. It is reportedly at 4.8 sigma, tantalisingly close to five-sigma certainty needed to be considered "evidence" but still far from the five-sigma gold standard needed to proclaim a true epic discovery. There is a 1 in 1 million chance that it was just a statistical fluke
"We're still going through all the data, and we've got two other teams repeating the analysis in a different way, so we're not going to publish a five-sigma result until all of our i's and t's are dotted and crossed," says CDF spokesperson Rob Roser.
145 GeV – suggesting that they are being produced by an unidentified particle of the same mass. It was immediately certain that whatever the particle was, it was not predicted by the standard model of physics
a particle called the Z-prime, a hypothetical carrier of a new force similar to the electroweak force, though it would have to be an unusual version of a Z-prime
Originally posted by XPLodER
so it would be the a "fifth" fundamental quantum force
cool i wounder what the properties will be
An independent check will also come from Fermilab's DZero experiment, which has enough of its own data to corroborate or cast doubt on the particle's existence. So far, the DZero team is keeping quiet, but it is expected to publish its results in the next few weeks.
The Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland should also be able to test CDF's result. There's talk that the LHC hasn't seen any such bump – but Roser says that doesn't mean much one way or the other, as the LHC hasn't collected as much data as Fermilab. "They haven't really achieved the sensitivity to see this yet," he explains.
Now that there's a mere 1 in a million chance that the result is a fluke, it seems there are only two options: either it's the result of some systematic or detector effect that no one has thought of yet, or it's real. The CDF team is hard at work trying to figure out which. "We're still going through all the data, and we've got two other teams repeating the analysis in a different way, so we're not going to publish a five-sigma result until all of our i's and t's are dotted and crossed," says CDF spokesperson Rob Roser.
If the results are confirmed, then a lot of very smart people, are going to have to do some furious work with a supercomputer and a blackboard to explain the presence of this new force, and its mechanical interaction with the known universe, and the other theories which currently dictate our understanding of it.
To rely solely on the mathematical theory behind current thinking on physics, is in my opinion similar to being given a drivers licence purely based on a theory examination, rather than using practical training to ensure the quality of potential road users.
That in mind, I believe that in order to create better forms of energy production, space travel and exploration equipment, and improve our understanding of the universe, this sort of work is essential.