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(Salon)   That recent experiment that hinted at a "fifth force of nature"? Yeah, about that   (salon.com) divider line
    More: Followup, Particle physics, Standard Model, Electron, Muon g-2, storied particle physics, standard theories, Neutrino, Standard Model of particle physics  
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1547 clicks; posted to STEM » on 11 Apr 2021 at 10:24 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-04-11 7:57:57 AM  
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2021-04-11 8:30:57 AM  
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2021-04-11 9:16:52 AM  
Photographic proof of the muon....


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2021-04-11 10:31:51 AM  
Admittedly I started skimming when it started spoonfeeding sigma to me, but what I didn't see mentioned is that this isn't the first experiment to test this, and it has a higher sigma than the previous one. That is to say, we're more confident now than we were before, but we're not fully confident. What we see merits more experiments with higher precision.
 
2021-04-11 10:32:27 AM  
*at the pub during last call after getting vaccinated*

"Whaddya say we ghet oudda here and I show you the fifthfth force of nashure?"
 
2021-04-11 10:35:11 AM  
Question is, did they achieve 3- or 4-sigma after dozens or hundreds or thousands of trials?  If they got it after thousands of trials, they're probably on to something.  A few thousand runs more, and they might hit 5-sigma.

The scientists are smart folks, as are the folks doing the peer reviews, and I'd wager they did the math.  This ain't a "cold fusion" claim.

The history of particle physics has been one of developing a "sharper" knife.  Cyclotrons get larger and more powerful, and scientists discover more complexity inside the atom.  Will this continue with the next-gen cyclotron?  Probably.  A "sharper" knife provides more detail of whatever you're cutting into.
 
2021-04-11 10:36:48 AM  
So make the Dr. Manhattans already, sheesh
 
2021-04-11 10:40:18 AM  

ImOscar: *at the pub during last call after getting vaccinated*

"Whaddya say we ghet oudda here and I show you the fifthfth force of nashure?"


You mean a force which interacts so weakly it's nearly impossible to detect?
 
2021-04-11 10:42:11 AM  

t3knomanser: ImOscar: *at the pub during last call after getting vaccinated*

"Whaddya say we ghet oudda here and I show you the fifthfth force of nashure?"

You mean a force which interacts so weakly it's nearly impossible to detect?


*best Zoidberg voice*

"I'm not hearing a no..."
 
2021-04-11 10:44:33 AM  

t3knomanser: ImOscar: *at the pub during last call after getting vaccinated*

"Whaddya say we ghet oudda here and I show you the fifthfth force of nashure?"

You mean a force which interacts so weakly it's nearly impossible to detect?


It's not how strong the interaction is, it's how you use it!
 
2021-04-11 10:44:49 AM  
I always thought a "Yeah, about that..." had to contain some kind of evidence.

All we have here is: (1) it's not a 5-sigma signal (we know); and (2) maybe someone calculated the Standard Model wrong (well, maybe).
 
2021-04-11 10:54:13 AM  
At 4.2 sigmas, there's about a 1 in 75,000 chance this result is due to chance.  Which sounds low, but physicists do a lot of experiments.

If it holds up, great.  If it doesn't, oh well.  In the meantime, it keeps scientists busy and off the streets, and that's what really matters.
 
2021-04-11 10:57:39 AM  

PartTimeBuddha: I always thought a "Yeah, about that..." had to contain some kind of evidence.

All we have here is: (1) it's not a 5-sigma signal (we know); and (2) maybe someone calculated the Standard Model wrong (well, maybe).


Option (3) The equations being used overlook something in their methodology

The chance for that one is much greater than 5-sigma.
 
2021-04-11 10:59:59 AM  

PartTimeBuddha: I always thought a "Yeah, about that..." had to contain some kind of evidence.

All we have here is: (1) it's not a 5-sigma signal (we know); and (2) maybe someone calculated the Standard Model wrong (well, maybe).


It is now a 4 sigma signal, but I still wouldn't claim a "5th force" off of something different at six decimal places.  If you get something (besides gravity) to interact with dark matter you can claim a "5th force".  The g-2 experiment implies a lot of re-jiggling (preferably in a way even more compatible with dark matter/dark energy) of the standard model, and the evidence leans toward "yeah, we'll need it" as opposed to "yeah, about that".
 
2021-04-11 11:23:09 AM  

DeathBySarcasm: PartTimeBuddha: I always thought a "Yeah, about that..." had to contain some kind of evidence.

All we have here is: (1) it's not a 5-sigma signal (we know); and (2) maybe someone calculated the Standard Model wrong (well, maybe).

Option (3) The equations being used overlook something in their methodology

The chance for that one is much greater than 5-sigma.


Fermilab has been around a long time, maybe all their computers use Pentium chips with the fdiv bug.

Or maybe this is an extremely intriguing result and as it's a followup that didn't discredit the earlier odd numbers it's something worth investigating.
 
2021-04-11 11:31:30 AM  

Gooch: So make the Dr. Manhattans already, sheesh


iat's already been done (NSFW).
 
2021-04-11 11:32:23 AM  

Mr. Eugenides: DeathBySarcasm: PartTimeBuddha: I always thought a "Yeah, about that..." had to contain some kind of evidence.

All we have here is: (1) it's not a 5-sigma signal (we know); and (2) maybe someone calculated the Standard Model wrong (well, maybe).

Option (3) The equations being used overlook something in their methodology

The chance for that one is much greater than 5-sigma.

Fermilab has been around a long time, maybe all their computers use Pentium chips with the fdiv bug.

Or maybe this is an extremely intriguing result and as it's a followup that didn't discredit the earlier odd numbers it's something worth investigating.


Yes, it's certainly worth investigating, but it's not worth being ballyhooed. Theoretical physicists give us a new version of this same clown show ALL the TIME, in order to make a headline splash.  The eventual outcome almost always involves some scientists saying 'Sorry lads, but we forgot to factor something obvious' and everyone with a Phd will have a good laugh about it.

But not before hundreds of articles containing sheer speculative nonsense are penned about the possibilities of dark matter any mysterious fifth forces,
 
2021-04-11 11:47:15 AM  
Do we even really understand the 4 forces we already have?

Isn't gravity still pretty much a mystery to us
 
2021-04-11 11:50:27 AM  

Gubbo: Do we even really understand the 4 forces we already have?

Isn't gravity still pretty much a mystery to us


Gravity is a complete mystery, unless the topic is dark matter, in which case scientists know everything there is know about gravity.
 
2021-04-11 11:52:16 AM  

Gubbo: Do we even really understand the 4 forces we already have?

Isn't gravity still pretty much a mystery to us


Not really, we seem to understand how its a warping of spacetime to the millionth decimal. We don't have a valid reason for any of the forces to exist as a consequence of any larger reality principle yet, although I've heard our universe might be the inside of a black hole in another one and the principles still check out. But who can tell really, we can't gather data from anything outside our own light cone, so it's anyone's logical guess.
 
2021-04-11 12:07:13 PM  
Correct or incorrect, continuing to work on it to nail it down at a 5-sigma level will produce better math, better experiment design, or a discovery of new physics.

Just because the third option is the most exciting doesn't make the other two worthless.  And just because the third option is the least likely doesn't mean it isn't a worthy target.
 
2021-04-11 12:09:07 PM  
The question seems to be one about science reporting and not really about the science itself.
 
2021-04-11 12:13:25 PM  
Is it love? I think it's love.
 
2021-04-11 1:25:29 PM  

DeathBySarcasm: Mr. Eugenides: DeathBySarcasm: PartTimeBuddha: I always thought a "Yeah, about that..." had to contain some kind of evidence.

All we have here is: (1) it's not a 5-sigma signal (we know); and (2) maybe someone calculated the Standard Model wrong (well, maybe).

Option (3) The equations being used overlook something in their methodology

The chance for that one is much greater than 5-sigma.

Fermilab has been around a long time, maybe all their computers use Pentium chips with the fdiv bug.

Or maybe this is an extremely intriguing result and as it's a followup that didn't discredit the earlier odd numbers it's something worth investigating.

Yes, it's certainly worth investigating, but it's not worth being ballyhooed. Theoretical physicists give us a new version of this same clown show ALL the TIME, in order to make a headline splash.  The eventual outcome almost always involves some scientists saying 'Sorry lads, but we forgot to factor something obvious' and everyone with a Phd will have a good laugh about it.

But not before hundreds of articles containing sheer speculative nonsense are penned about the possibilities of dark matter any mysterious fifth forces,


Old and tired: scienticians lie fo MONEY
New hotnesss: scienticians lie fo FARK HEADLINES
 
2021-04-11 2:20:08 PM  
The real 5th force of nature was the friends we made along the way.
 
2021-04-11 2:40:46 PM  
It's almost like all news should be placed in a quarantine of "it's not true yet" until actually proven.
 
2021-04-11 3:54:46 PM  
CERN is also seeing odd muon behavior.
 
2021-04-11 3:58:31 PM  

t3knomanser: ImOscar: *at the pub during last call after getting vaccinated*

"Whaddya say we ghet oudda here and I show you the fifthfth force of nashure?"

You mean a force which interacts so weakly it's nearly impossible to detect?


Yeah, but it's like 70% more powerful than all the other forces.
 
2021-04-11 3:59:03 PM  
So two scientists who wrote books stated we don't know if it's new physics or not.  This changes everything.
 
2021-04-11 4:17:52 PM  

Gubbo: Do we even really understand the 4 forces we already have?

Isn't gravity still pretty much a mystery to us


Gravity is very well understood under relativity. What we don't understand is how that connects with the forces within the standard model. Gravity is just out there, doing its own thing, treating space like a continuum instead of like it's quantized.
 
2021-04-11 4:56:48 PM  

batlock666: Gooch: So make the Dr. Manhattans already, sheesh

iat's already been done (NSFW).


So, which is it - 7", or realistic?
 
2021-04-11 7:02:36 PM  

Ragin' Asian: Is it love? I think it's love.


No, that's the 5th element. Easy mistake.

/Multipass
 
2021-04-11 8:07:53 PM  
I hate science writers.

Actual physicist: "The Standard Model is our best approximation to reality, we can't wait to see what lies behind it and get a better understanding!"

Article (every time): The Standard Model is complete and scientists are all aghast at possibly being wrong, here's [pick one] what they have been wrong about and how it's destroyed all their work/what one group says will overturn everything we know and how they are wrong.

Anyone who can get past the description of "muon" should recognize that 1 in 40,000 isn't the gold standard. Hopefully they should recognize that evidence from two groups looking at two things in unrelated experiments with different equipment sidesteps most of the usual suspects in problematic results.

So many articles out there mischaracterize the effect this would have on science. Einstein didn't disprove Newton, Einstein had to include Newton in his larger explanation for the cosmos. And any description of reality beyond the Standard Model will incorporate the model because it has to explain the same things. It will probably look at reality in a different way but it isn't going to invalidate everything that came before.

I really hate these articles.
 
2021-04-11 8:22:06 PM  
Instead of inventing fifth force, these results could also be explained by Muons interacting very slightly with the strong nuclear force.
 
2021-04-11 8:22:42 PM  

BolloxReader: It will probably look at reality in a different way but it isn't going to invalidate everything that came before.


Asimov's essay The Relativity of Wrong should be mandatory reading in high school, and you shouldn't be able to get a science credit until you've proven you understand what he was saying.

Then again, I believe crazy things like you should also have a basic understanding of the scientific method and statistics and probability before you can graduate, too.  And that's just the science... you need a little (non-propaganda) civics in there, too.
 
2021-04-11 9:51:13 PM  

BolloxReader: Actual physicist: "The Standard Model is our best approximation to reality, we can't wait to see what lies behind it and get a better understanding!"


I think it's usually more: The standard model is stunningly accurate for the things it can predict, but we observe things it can't predict, so we're really hoping to find a place where its predictions really break down so we can shove a wedge into the door of reality.
 
2021-04-11 11:16:41 PM  
I thought 5 sigma was 1 in 3.5 million. Not 1 in 35 million.
 
2021-04-11 11:53:53 PM  
I thought the fifth force of nature was the attractive force of subby's mom.
 
2021-04-12 12:20:17 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: The real 5th force of nature was the friends we made along the way.


So...magic?
 
2021-04-12 12:23:07 AM  
The best part is, none of the people involved ever said anything about a fifth force. Just that maybe there's stuff we don't yet understand happening.

How "there's stuff we don't yet understand" isn't exciting enough, I really don't know. I mean, that's literally science speak for "new stuff, yee haw!"

How about we stop farming for morons and actually do decent science reporting, and the morons can go fark a cow?
 
2021-04-12 1:31:31 AM  

BolloxReader: Article (every time): The Standard Model is complete and scientists are all aghast at possibly being wrong, here's [pick one] what they have been wrong about and how it's destroyed all their work/what one group says will overturn everything we know and how they are wrong.


What articles are you reading?  I can't think of any article I've ever read that does this.  There's definitely nothing in the article that implies the scientists are jealously sticking to the Standard Model, the scientists they quoted were urging not to jump to conclusions.
 
2021-04-12 1:38:29 AM  

GrendelMk1: The best part is, none of the people involved ever said anything about a fifth force.


One of them did, kind of: "If there is a new effect then all we know is there's probably a new particle out there to be discovered, associated with that effect," Schumm said.

They did not use the word force, probably carefully avoided it in fact, but that's pretty much what a new particle in this situation is.
 
2021-04-12 4:57:49 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: 5th element?


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/"sigma" is not just a number!
 
2021-04-12 6:23:56 AM  
Does this mean I can tell work to take their six sigma and shove it?
 
2021-04-12 8:49:31 AM  

recondite cetacean: It's almost like all news should be placed in a quarantine of "it's not true yet" until actually proven.


More like science reporting should be kept to scientific journals, and not disseminated to the ignorant public.
 
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