Physics World Buzzing Over Faster-Than-Ever Particle

Hot news from Fermilab… (see this article)

Tom Spears

Ottawa Citizen

A major physics lab in the
U.S. has found a particle, far smaller than any atom, that switches
itself back and forth between being a piece of matter and a piece of
anti-matter 17 trillion times each second.

It has taken 700
people in 20 countries, millions of dollars’ worth of custom equipment,
vast amounts of energy, and 20 years of work to find this.

back-and-forth switching appears to be one of the fastest processes in
nature. One of the big mysteries in physics is why the universe is
practically all matter, and not anti-matter. The universe once had
equal amounts of both, scientists believe.

So where did the anti-matter go?

while the physics world has been buzzing since Thursday’s announcement
of the latest anti-matter find, outsiders have barely noticed.


experiment illustrates the difficulty in publicizing work in this
abstract world of concepts unknown to most people — quarks, muons,
particle accelerators, and anti-matter itself.

The finding at
Fermilab, a U.S. federal physics laboratory, is never going to affect
your daily life. Fermilab found a particle called a "B-sub-s meson."
You won’t ever buy an iPod made of B-sub-s mesons. And Fermilab’s
announcement was pure gobbledygook, which didn’t help.

The work’s
significance? "This measurement has confirmed the Standard Model," says
physicist Wendy Taylor of York University, one of the 700 who toiled on
the experiment.