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Sterile neutrinos may have been discovered

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    Sterile neutrinos may have been discovered

    A Major Physics Experiment Just Detected A Particle That Shouldn't Exist

    Scientists have produced the firmest evidence yet of so-called sterile neutrinos, mysterious particles that pass through matter without interacting with it at all.

    The first hints these elusive particles turned up decades ago. But after years of dedicated searches, scientists have been unable to find any other evidence for them, with many experiments contradicting those old results. These new results now leave scientists with two robust experiments that seem to demonstrate the existence of sterile neutrinos, even as other experiments continue to suggest sterile neutrinos don't exist at all.

    That means there's something strange happening in the universe that is making humanity's most cutting-edge physics experiments contradict one another.
    Before despairing over the contradictions and possibility it might be a fluke I refer to this quote by the late Isaac Asimov:

    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'"

    This was a 4.8 sigma discovery so while it's not the definitive 5 sigma, it's big enough to warrant further study. Even if it's not sterile neutrinos something could have made a pair of experiments contradict others.
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  • #2

    Huh. Well, this is interesting. I didn't know neutrinos came in flavours...

    Also, sigma? What does that mean?
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    • #3

      Originally posted by Arratra View Post
      Also, sigma? What does that mean?
      From the way I've always understood it, it's the standard for deviation between data. Here's a good article on it here.
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