Shrunken proton baffles scientists
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02/03/2013 12:35 PM
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Perplexing puzzleQuoting: 7.83Hz
One possibility is that Antognini's team has inadvertently discovered new physics. It is the only one to use muons to probe the proton — the others all used electrons, and there is a small possibility that muons interact with protons differently from electrons. The effect would have to be small, or it would also show up in other places, such as the Large Hadron Collider, the big particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland.
Arrington and Sick both have their doubts. "I'm a big believer in our understanding of physics," Arrington says. Given the power of existing theories, Sick says, the idea of fundamental differences between muons and electrons is "sort of hard to imagine".
But equally hard to imagine is what might have gone wrong. Experimentalists have combed back over their data. Theorists have recrunched their equations. There could be a problem with the models used to estimate the proton size from the measurements, but so far, none has been identified. "Many of the ideas that have been stated have all been looked at in more detail," Sick says. "Nobody has come up with a clear result."
[link to www.nature.com]
It would be very interesting to see if any interesting result could be produced if neutrinos are fired (if they interacted at all), as the proton should appear larger than previously measured if this hypothesis holds.
[link to virtualblognews.altervista.org]