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Fermilab’s Muon g-2 Experiment Finally Gives Particle Physicists a Hint of What Lies Beyond the Standard Model

18 Apr 2021, 19:20 UTC
Fermilab’s Muon g-2 Experiment Finally Gives Particle Physicists a Hint of What Lies Beyond the Standard Model
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Since the long-awaited detection of the Higgs Boson in 2012, particle physicists have been probing deeper into the subatomic realm in the hope of investigating beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics. In so doing, they hope to confirm the existence of previously unknown particles and the existence of exotic physics, as well as learning more about how the Universe began.

At the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (aka. Fermilab), researchers have been conducting the Muon g-2 experiment, which recently announced the results of their first run. Thanks to the unprecedented precision of their instruments, the Fermilab team found that muons in their experiment did not behave in a way that is consistent with the Standard Model, resolving a discrepancy that has existed for decades.

Experiments involving muons began decades ago at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and were conducted recently at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in New York. In 2011, Fermilab took over where the BNL left off and began dedicating its powerful accelerators to exploring the interactions of short-lived muon particles with a strong magnetic field in a vacuum.

Similar to electrons (but with 200 times more mass), muons occur naturally when cosmic rays ...

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