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Mon Nov 25, 2019, 04:56 AM

Physicists Have Finally Seen Traces of a Long-Sought Particle. Here's Why That's a Big Deal.


By Meredith Fore - Live Science Contributor 3 days ago Space

It was predicted four decades ago, but only found now.



(Image: Courtesy of the researchers)

Scientists have finally found traces of the axion, an elusive particle that rarely interacts with normal matter. The axion was first predicted over 40 years ago but has never been seen until now.

Scientists have suggested that dark matter, the invisible matter that permeates our universe, may be made of axions. But rather than finding a dark matter axion deep in outer space, researchers have discovered mathematical signatures of an axion in an exotic material here on Earth.

The newly discovered axion isn't quite a particle as we normally think of it: It acts as a wave of electrons in a supercooled material known as a semimetal. But the discovery could be the first step in addressing one of the major unsolved problems in particle physics.

The axion is a candidate for dark matter, since, just like dark matter, it can't really interact with regular matter. This aloofness also makes the axion, if it exists, extremely difficult to detect. This strange particle could also help solve a long-standing conundrum in physics known as "the strong CP problem." For some reason, the laws of physics seem to act the same on particles and their antimatter partners, even when their spatial coordinates are inverted.This phenomenon is known as charge-parity symmetry, but existing physics theory says there's no reason this symmetry has to exist. The unexpected symmetry can be explained by the existence of a special field; detecting an axion would prove that this field exists, solving this mystery.

More:
https://www.livescience.com/axion-found-in-weyl-semimetal.html

8 replies, 1600 views

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Reply Physicists Have Finally Seen Traces of a Long-Sought Particle. Here's Why That's a Big Deal. (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 25 OP
3Hotdogs Nov 25 #1
yardwork Nov 25 #2
Bernardo de La Paz Nov 25 #3
Igel Nov 25 #7
gordianot Nov 25 #4
Bernardo de La Paz Nov 25 #8
KY_EnviroGuy Nov 25 #5
colsohlibgal Nov 25 #6

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 07:21 AM

1. There the title of the post fall short..."Why its a Big Deal."

To 93.2% of the people reading this, it means nothing.

Edited to change the percentage to a more accurate, 97.36%

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 07:38 AM

2. You're in the Science group.

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 07:48 AM

3. That would be like saying the invention of the transistor was not a big deal because


to 97.36% of people it mean nothing. But now they carry about a billion transistors in their pockets.

Just because it is not a big deal to YOU and the majority doesn't mean it isn't truly a big deal.


However, this is still at preliminary stages of discovery.


At Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus event, the company's Phil Schiller announced that the A8 chip found inside of the phones was made up of 2 billion transistors.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 02:07 PM

7. It's more like

saying that a non-semiconductor proxy showed the same kind of behavior that the mathematics predicting the existence of semiconductors says should be true for semiconductors.

It's a model that shares characteristics attributed quantum systems in which the axion should make a showing. If the model holds true, then it's a valid prediction. On the other hand, so far it just shows that a model shows some of the same effects the math predicts for axions. Sort of proof of principle.

Even that's an advancement, because it shows that the math stands a good chance of not being pure fiction. But discovery it ain't.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 08:38 AM

4. Amazing the same species who can conceptualize this, produced Donald Trump.

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Response to gordianot (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 03:43 PM

8. Really?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 08:48 AM

5. Thanks, Judi Lynn. I'm just grateful....

the field of basic particle research is still alive and well. Adds to our still primitive understanding of our universe, although what we do know is way over my head.

I've always thought it silly to call such items "particles", as that brings into our human brains visions of solid blobs of peanut butter or concrete floating in space, waiting to be dissected, studied and named.

KY........

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2019, 08:53 AM

6. It Is Another Step

The more we can discern about dark matter the better. There is so much more to learn about the mysteries of time and space.

Of course then you have Mike Pence and others who believe nothing was here 6001 years ago till it was magically created. Provably false but to them tools like carbon dating are tricks of the Devil. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and millions are doing that.

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