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New Subatomic Particle Discoveries Could Change The Rules Physicists Use To Understand The Universe

Photo of the Fermilab.
Photo of the Fermilab.
Reidar Hahn | Fermilab

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New research from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FermiLab) in Illinois has found that a tiny subatomic particle appears to be disobeying the laws of physics, which could open up a host of new questions about the nature of our universe.

The early findings suggest that “there are forms of matter and energy vital to the nature and evolution of the cosmos that are not yet known to science,” writes Dennis Overbye, in a recent piece in the New York Times. Hundreds of physicists have been operating an experiment out of FermiLab that centers on muons, particles that are similar to electrons, though heavier. When muons were shot through a magnetic field, scientists observed that they did not behave as expected— a mystery that raises the question of what muons were reacting to. Although the findings do not quite rise to the level of a discovery, they do have the attention of the physics community.

Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about muons and what current research might reveal about the laws of physics. Questions? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.


Dennis Overbye, science reporter for The New York Times and author of the recent piece “Finding From Particle Research Could Rewrite Known Laws of Physics

Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at Caltech; he tweets @seanmcarroll