Scroll down to read this post.


My July fund-raising campaign, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the start of this website, has now ended. This was the second most successful monthly fund-raising campaign ever. Thank you again to everyone who has who donated or subscribed. It is difficult to explain what your support means to me.


You can still donate or subscribe to support my work if you wish, either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are four ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

New data contradicts accepted standard model of particle physics

The uncertainty of science: After years of analysis, physicists have refined their measurement of the mass of one important subatomic particle, and discovered that its weight violates the accepted standard model of particle physics, threatening to overthrow it entirely.

W bosons are elementary particles that carry the weak force, mediating nuclear processes like those at work in the Sun. According to the Standard Model, their mass is linked to the masses of the Higgs boson and a subatomic particle called the top quark. In a new study, almost 400 scientists on the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) collaboration spent a decade examining 4.2 million W boson candidates collected from 26 years of data at the Tevatron collider. From this treasure trove, the team was able to calculate the mass of the W boson to within 0.01 percent, making it twice as precise as the previous best measurement.

By their calculations, the W boson has a mass of 80,433.5 Mega-electronvolts (MeV), with an uncertainty of just 9.4 MeV either side. That’s within the range of some previous measurements, but well outside that predicted by the Standard Model, which puts it at 80,357 MeV, give or take 6 MeV. That means the new value is off by a whopping seven standard deviations.

Further cementing the anomaly, the W boson mass was also recently measured using data from the Large Hadron Collider, in a paper published in January. That team came to a value of 80,354 MeV (+/- 32 MeV), which is comfortably close to that given by the Standard Model.

Personally, I always take this level of physics with a great deal of skepticism. The data involves a lot of assumptions and uncertainties. That other researchers came up with a different number illustrates this.

Nonetheless, these results could suggest that the standard model, the consensus theory for decades, is either incomplete, or wrong. The former would be more likely, but no possibility should be dismissed. And even if wrong, much of that model still works so well any new model must include large parts of it.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • David Eastman

    I’m way out of date on my physics, but I’ve never heard that the standard model meets the “explain” criteria of a true theory. Eg. they can say that certain sub-particles carry the weak nuclear force, but can’t truly explain what the weak nuclear force is, nor what is about those sub-particles that make them carry it. It’s more of a spreadsheet, where they know that each cell needs to have a sub-particle or force in it, and they can work backwards and say “well, we know that this particle is part of this other particle, so it must have a mass in the range of x or the other particle would mass more, etc.” but there is no explanation of what mass truly is, and if there is a reason that particle has x rather than y.

  • Jeff Wright

    Unless this points to FTL, antigravity, or new energy-I really don’t care.

  • Col Beausabre

    Jeff Wright, If this is correct, it creates a situation somewhat akin to “The Crisis in Physics” of the late 19th Century. If it is correct, it points to the need for further study and the direction it should take. Just as no one could predict General and Special Relativity in 1900, so too, it’s impossible to say where this may take us. It may well have an impact on your concerns, we just don’t know,

  • Jeff Wright

    It will probably be expensive. Colliders, like HLLVs, are never big enough. Large Hadron a consolation prize for SSC. The idea of a weakless alt-universe is interesting. Of more concern are linear earthquakes SMU thought were from strangelets tearing through.

  • Icepilot

    We can’t find 95% of the Universe. The W Boson being a little heavier than anticipated is the least of the “problems” in physics.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Icepilot makes a very good point.

  • Lee S

    I agree entirely Icepilot…. When first conceived, both dark energy and dark matter were placeholders until we figured out what we have got wrong. I’ve always thought that the fact they have become doctrine is, well somewhat fishy…

  • wayne

    “New Evidence against the Standard Model of Cosmology”
    Sabine Hossenfelder (September, 2021)

  • wayne

    “The standard model of physics is broken…”
    Dr. Peter Woit and Lex Fridman
    December 2021, (excerpted from the full show Number 246)

  • Cotour

    Zman, space nerds: Like it or not there are “Things” (An intelligence or a force of some kind) in this universe that are detectable to some degree by humans but appear to be beyond our everyday ability to comprehend and to properly understand *IT* / them and where *IT* / they come from and what they or *IT* is up to.

    This is just a fact and there are evidences of this condition that apparently run throughout our known history (And I would assume before our known history). Its apparently a fact, as crazy as it sounds, and many are either unwilling or unable do to their situation to recognize it.

    Makes you uncomfortable? Think its crazy? You know its true but are unable to say so? *IT* does not care, Is what it is.

    Ask Bob Bigelow, I think you would agree that he is a valid, stone cold, serious as a heart attack fellow space nerd.

    From Skin Walker ranch:

    From cattle mutilation, to UFO’s, to Orbs intelligently controlled, to strange animals / entities, its out there.

    The only conclusion? There is something existing in this universe over and above what we are able to scientifically detect and understand. And you can ask Bob Bigelow if you don’t believe me.

    Bigelow bought the ranch and had a team of scientists working there to try to figure it out. Did he?

  • Chris

    This is one more example that for a great amount of todays “known science” it is not known, it is “believed” or fits the model and or observations to a comfortable amount.
    To be accurate I think scientists need to add the phrase …”we believe” or “we think” to their pronouncements. This may become a bit cumbersome but I think it will continuously remind those who seek the truth about nature that they don’t always know and need to keep questioning lest their “knowledge” house of cards collapses.

  • Col Beausabre

    “To be accurate I think scientists need to add the phrase …”we believe” or “we think” to their pronouncements. This may become a bit cumbersome but I think it will continuously remind those who seek the truth about nature that they don’t always know and need to keep questioning lest their “knowledge” house of cards collapses.”

    But that would humble that quack Fauxi and demolish the whole idea that those who claim to practice “science” are members of an omniscient, uniquely qualified pseudo-priesthood who are entitled to have their opinions outside their narrow area of expertise (and sometimes not even then) be treated as pronouncements from on high

  • wayne

    You’re definitely on to something.

    “Coping with Complexity”
    Jordan B Peterson
    (Excerpted from: 2017 Personality 18: Biology & Traits)

  • Chris observed: “To be accurate I think scientists need to add the phrase …”we believe” or “we think” to their pronouncements.”

    I had thought that was understood. Like the old math joke:

    “What color is that house?”

    “Well, it’s white on this side.”

  • wayne


    tangentially, I’ll drop this in here:

    “Asking A Theoretical Physicist About The Physics Of Consciousness”
    Roger Penrose & Jordan Peterson (April 14, 2022)

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *