rogerdr (rogerdr) wrote,

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Strange + Charm = Weird

Science marches forward, and hits another snag. At Fermilab scientists have 'found' a new particle that doesn't act in ways they expect, but don't throw out your physics texts just yet. It is a meson, albeit an extremely rare one, a carrier of the Strong Force which holds together protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei; but it is only one of many of these Strong Force carriers.

The reason these particles are studied so closely is that the Strong Force, in fact the strongest known force in nature, is the 'glue' holding all atomic nuclei together. This, along with the Electromagnetic Force holding electrons in orbit around the atoms and forming the basis for molecular bonds, is one of the most important parts of nature; without it, there would be no matter as we know it.

The fact that they have found a particle which shows behavior different from what they expected means that the theories concerning the actions and interactions of these particles must be refined or changed. This is just the type of occurance that all scientists live for, and dread, for it means that their theories must be pushed forward to encompass the new phenomena or be tossed out as inadequate. The particle in question doesn't challenge any great notions of how matter is formed, but it does remind us that the search for understanding is never finished.

Lead on adventurers, your quest awaits.

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