"The Standard Model" of the universe takes a hit.

February 9, 2001 11:57 PM   Subscribe

"The Standard Model" of the universe takes a hit.
Score one for string theorists. Scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory appear to have discovered a new type of subatomic particle that would disprove the currently accepted model for the nature of space and matter.
posted by Optamystic (3 comments total)
Sheesh! Again?! When are these guys gonna get it right? What are we payin' 'em for?!?
posted by black8 at 2:08 AM on February 10, 2001

This sounds more like the discovery of a superpartner than a victory for string theory. I believe string theory?insofar as it makes any predictions at all?makes the same predictions as the standard theory(ies) at the level at which this experiment is looking.
posted by rodii at 7:44 AM on February 10, 2001

Well, the Standard Model has already taken a much bigger hit -- experiments have shown that neutrinos have mass. Even if the Brookhaven folks are correct, they haven't "disproven" the Standard Model, because it has likely already been disproven.

Note: when I say disproven, I don't mean that the Standard Model is completely invalid -- it works quite well as a predictive model of particle physics interactions, because neutrino masses are so small that one can treat them are being effectively massless. But it's not exactly correct.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 3:14 PM on February 10, 2001

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