Physics: Where we learn that the possible discovery of a fourth neutrino could help explain dark matter.


“Physicists working with a Fermilab neutrino experiment may have found a new elementary particle whose behavior breaks the known laws of physics. If correct, their results poke holes in the accepted Standard Model of particles and forces, and raise some interesting questions for the Large Hadron Collider and Tevatron experiments. The new particle could even explain the existence of dark matter.

Working with Fermilab’s MiniBooNE experiment — the first part of the larger planned Booster Neutrino Experiment — physicists found evidence for a fourth flavor of neutrino, according to a new paper published in Physical Review Letters. This means there could be another particle we didn’t know about, and that it behaves in a way physicists didn’t expect.

-Popular Science

Laws of Physics were made to be broken! (More Sciencey stuff after the jump)


Neutrinos have been mystifying physicists since they were first theorized decades ago. They are one of the building blocks of matter, and to the best of our knowledge, they come in three varieties, called flavors: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos. Oscillation is what happens when neutrinos turn from one flavor to another; an electron neutrino might turn into a muon neutrino, and then turn back again. How often they do this tells physicists about the infinitesimally small differences in their masses. Neutrino mass is important because it may lead us to physics beyond the Standard Model. And that is exactly what seems to have happened.


Fermilab Experiment Hints At Existence of Brand-New Elementary Particle
Rebecca Boyle
Popular Science, 11.04.2010

Category: Science, Weekend

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One Response to “New Elementary Particle Discovered (maybe)”

  1. Expat says:

    Let’s hear it from Rabi again. “Who ordered that!”

    Exciting times we live in. Physicists are counting on the LHC to discover the Higgs boson which is supposed to tidy up the Standard Model. Instead we get another neutrino which shoots a hole in the model. I can’t recall what string theory says about a fourth neutrino but I think SSY string theory (or M-theory at least) makes the case for a rather long list of symetric particles.

    It appears more likely to me that Faraday was right instead. All these so-called particles are just twists, kinks, and waves in the very fabric of space-time. Nothing is fundamental. As long as we increase energies and cause the quantum foam to behave in new ways, we will see what appear to be new particles. It puts all our petty worries about little bits of colored paper and internal-combustion vehicles into perspective, doesn’t it?