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    A Fundamental Change in Physics, or a Fluke?

    Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have observed anomalous data that suggest they may have discovered a new elementary particle or a new fundamental force of nature. Or, they acknowledged Wednesday, they may have simply observed a chance statistical fluctuation in their results.

    If the results are real, they could provide the first significant change in what is known as the standard model of physics in more than five decades, and researchers are holding their breaths in anticipation.

    "If this thing is real, it is a new type of very heavy particle that is not one of the ones theorists have been sitting around thinking about," said physicist Michael Witherell of UC Santa Barbara. "It would be very heavy, very interesting and very fundamental. It would turn over our understanding of particle physics."

    Added Harvard University physicist Lisa Randall: "If it is really something new, it would be extremely exciting."



    But scientists on the Fermilab team say there is about a 1 in 1,000 chance that the results are a statistical fluke odds far too high for them to claim a discovery.

    "That's no more than what physicists tend to call an 'observation' or an 'indication,' " said Caltech physicist Harvey Newman.

    For the finding to be considered real, researchers have to reduce the chances of a statistical fluke to about 1 in a million.
    Physics, Fermilab: Research points to a fundamental change in physics -- or else a fluke - chicagotribune.com



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    Re: A Fundamental Change in Physics, or a Fluke?

    Maybe just physicists trying to get funding for the Tevatron which is supposed to shut down later this year?


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    Re: A Fundamental Change in Physics, or a Fluke?

    The God particle?



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    Re: A Fundamental Change in Physics, or a Fluke?

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgeDGNc8JU"]YouTube - 83.She Blinded Me With Science-Thomas Dolby[/ame]



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    Re: A Fundamental Change in Physics, or a Fluke?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1100011CS View Post
    The God particle?
    I don't think so - they're looking for that in Switzerland

    This, if it is something, is something different.


    Asteroids are nature's way of asking "How's that space program going?"

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    Re: A Fundamental Change in Physics, or a Fluke?

    Quote Originally Posted by TykeClone View Post
    I don't think so - they're looking for that in Switzerland

    This, if it is something, is something different
    .
    Thanks for clearing that up for us.



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    Re: A Fundamental Change in Physics, or a Fluke?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Thanks for clearing that up for us.
    He's just saying if it is something, and it could be something, it would be something different, but it could be nothing, and then it would be the same nothing, but not if it's something. Try to keep up.



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    Re: A Fundamental Change in Physics, or a Fluke?

    Run the same experiment, get the same data, and then come forward with this new discovery. Kinda pointless to announce something that you aren't even sure of, especially when you think it could be a statistical fluke...

    That being said, I hope it's not real and that it was a fluke or otherwise taking Physics 221/222 becomes pointless...


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