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New data suggests muon is more magnetic that predicted

The uncertainty of science: New data now suggests that the subatomic particle called the muon is slightly more magnetic that predicted by the standard model of particle physics, a result that if confirmed will require a major rethinking of that standard model.

In 2001, researchers with the Muon g-2 experiment, then at Brookhaven, reported that the muon was a touch more magnetic than the standard model predicts. The discrepancy was only about 2.5 times the combined theoretical and experimental uncertainties. That’s nowhere near physicists’ standard for claiming a discovery: 5 times the total uncertainty. But it was a tantalizing hint of new particles just beyond their grasp.

So in 2013, researchers hauled the experiment to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois, where they could get purer beams of muons. By the time the revamped experiment started to take data in 2018, the standard model predictions of the muon’s magnetism had improved and the difference between the experimental results and theory had risen to 3.7 times the total uncertainty.

Now, the g-2 team has released the first result from the revamped experiment, using 1 year’s worth of data. And the new result agrees almost exactly with the old one, the team announced today at a symposium at Fermilab. The concordance shows the old result was neither a statistical fluke nor the product of some undetected flaw in the experiment, says Chris Polly, a Fermilab physicist and co-spokesperson for the g-2 team. “Because I was a graduate student on the Brookhaven experiment, it was certainly an overwhelming sense of relief for me,” he says.

Together, the new and old results widen the disagreement with the standard model prediction to 4.2 times the experimental and theoretical errors.

That result is still not five times what theory predicts — the faux standard physicists apparently use to separate a simple margin of error and a true discovery — but it is almost that high, has been found consistently in repeated tests, and appears to be an unexplained discrepancy.

Not that I take any of this too seriously. If you read the entire article, you will understand. There are so many areas of uncertainty, both in the data and in the theories that this research is founded on, that the wise course is to treat it all with a great deal of skepticism. For example, the anomaly reported involves only 2.5 parts in 1 billion. While this data is definitely telling us something, but it is so close to the edge of infinitesimal that one shouldn’t trust it deeply.


Conscious Choice cover

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  • wayne

    Big Bang Theory –
    Sheldon Cooper – Knock Knock Joke

  • Max

    From the article;

    “Starting in 2017, more than 130 theorists met in a series of workshops to hammer out a consensus value for the standard model prediction, which they published in November 2020. But Petrov says the calculation is a complicated “hodgepodge” that employs a variety of methods—including extrapolating from collider results—to account for different types of standard model particles flitting in and out of the vacuum.”

    “”Theorists will now redouble their efforts to validate the consensus value and to develop computational methods that would enable them to calculate it from first principles, Petrov says””

    Typical politicians, their “consensus” in which the reputation and self-worth depends upon, will not be questioned. The data be damned… The science standard is what we say it is. “Cause-and-effect” and “experimentation and results” will fit the model because reality is what we make it. Or else.

    For example on the same website the article is from, they are lifting the restrictions for making chimera’s from the mixing of human DNA and cells into animals to create a smarter rodent or monkey. (China has been making chimeras for a long time now) they’re using the same methods in laboratories with crisper technology, that they are doing by random in the genetically altering MNRA shot at your local pharmacy store.
    What could go wrong? Time will tell.

    $1.8 billion to permanently control nearly all the science organizations so the narrative can never be questioned.

    Once the high priests of collective thought firmly control the systems of belief in science and health, your avenues of personal health and thought will be strictly controlled. You must conform.
    The democratic vote is irreverent, democracy will be controlled because you’re betters knows what’s good for you. Wrong think will be discouraged… By concentration camps (in New York) if necessary.
    Resistance is futile, Biden signed six executive orders yesterday that all but eliminate personal gun ownership. He stoped just short of openly collecting weapons.

    P-1 variant of coronavirus is coming across the border with the illegal aliens from Brazil, and being shipped to all 50 states. The new lockdowns will be more severe than ever. Vaccination shots proven to be ineffective.
    The dark age has begun, and getting darker every day.

  • David Telford

    I read three light articles this morning on the Muon g-2 matter. Two were like this, that an anomaly appears evident but not five sigma, more like 3.7. Maybe/probably something but not sure. The third was a group that recalculated the expectations. Their results were less dramatic: it may be that our expectations are to be revised and in a closer match to that which is observed.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Max…. Dude… You need to chill out! The fact that a possible discrepancy in the current standard model of physics has been found is no reason to go on a rant about all manor of unrelated stuff. Take your conspiracies elsewhere! If a muon has the wrong magnetic wobble it doesn’t mean your guns will be taken away by a genetically modified monkey!
    Apart from that… I hope this result bears out… I personally believe that dark matter, and indeed dark energy have moved from being placeholders to accepted “things” in the accepted standard model way too quickly… Calling something “dark” because it fits the gap in your theory doesn’t make it real. I hope that one day mankind will figure out exactly how the universe works, and this could be a step towards that. Or I guess it could be a cover-up for vaccine misinformation????

  • Jeff Wright

    So are we going to get anti-gravity out of this? Or is it worth nothing but a correction in a textbook?
    It’s the latter-isn’t it?

  • Chris

    We’re looking at muons, releasing drones on Mars and for us … nothing

    the late Tim Wilson

    warning adult language

  • wayne

    For the more mathematically inclined amongst us (which I am not….)

    Particle Physics: The Standard Model
    Leonard Susskind 2010
    [Lecture 1 of 10]

  • wayne

    [less Math, more overhead-projector…]

    Roger Penrose
    “Before the Beginning and Beyond Eternity”
    IST Lecture 2015

  • MadRocketSci

    I’m still not sure why the Lande g-factor of the electron is 2 instead of 1, or what exactly the non-vectorial way spin-1/2 transforms says about the geometry of spacetime. I’m told that the g-factor of 2 is a “consequence of relativity”, but the justification I looked up in a QFT book is this unmotivated self-referential piece of numerology: A lot of commutation juggling, no physical principles or arguments whatsoever. That the electron has a magnetic moment is obvious, but how seriously to take the rest of the theory side of QFT (on this and many other issues) is a question in my mind.

    I’ve often wondered if the muon, tauon, etc are excitations of some sort of internal mode in electrons (and so on for the other generation-copies of the other hadrons). If so, and if it’s a non-point-particle model, something like the magnetic moment, or angular moment *would* change.

  • MadRocketSci

    PS: read this paper:

    The whole process of “renormalization” gives people far too many knobs to turn in the solution of quantum electrodynamics. Apparently the supposed (absurdly precise) agreement between the magnetic moment anomaly of the electron and the QED prediction from vacuum polarization might be sleight of hand. They dialed that one in, and dialed it in again when the experiments turned up different results. Now that they have enough information about the short lived muon, I wonder if they have enough leeway to dial that one in too.

    Are we dealing with epicycles here?

  • Are we dealing with epicycles here?
    I’ve been getting that feeling with particle physics for a while now.

    Or perhaps it’s aether: What exactly is the difference between aether and quantum fields permeating the universe? The latter have a better mathematical basis, but conceptually they seem awfully similar. Same thing with “electromagnetic fields propagate without a medium”. Um. Space-time _is_ the medium – it bends, the field bends.

    There are many “obvious” theoretical problems with gravity, but we seem to be lacking any outside-the-box thinking. Hopefully, more anomalies will be found so someone can figure it out.

    On the other hand, I don’t have the mathematical chops to argue, so I mostly just watch and keep opinions such as that to myself.

  • David M. Cook

    I‘ve never liked the Standard Model. It seems the more they smash things together the more complicated the model becomes, and just like epicycles you could always add more complications to “prove” your theory. Shouldn‘t things get simpler the closer you get to the truth? Like DNA, for example.

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