Home » News & Blogs » How Did We Fool Ourselves Into Believing In A New Particle That Wasn’t There? (Synopsis)
Bookmark and Share
Starts With A Bang!

How Did We Fool Ourselves Into Believing In A New Particle That Wasn’t There? (Synopsis)

9 Aug 2016, 14:22 UTC
How Did We Fool Ourselves Into Believing In A New Particle That Wasn’t There? (Synopsis)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” -Richard Feynman
Like many suggestive signals in the past, the 750 GeV bump in the diphoton channel has turned out to be a mere phantasm: an unlikely statistical fluctuation that simply disappeared as more data was collected. While almost the entire particle physics community was hoping for a different outcome, this is apparently the Universe we were dealt.
The ATLAS and CMS diphoton bumps, displayed together, clearly correlating at ~750 GeV. Image credit: CERN, CMS/ATLAS collaborations, image generated by Matt Strassler at https://profmattstrassler.com/2015/12/16/is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-the-standard-model/.
But anyone familiar with the history of particle physics shouldn’t be surprised by this result, as “there’s only a 1-in-3,000 chance this is a fluke” means there’s a *very good* chance that it is, in fact, a fluke. When you flip a coin ten times and get ten heads in a row, you worry that something is wrong. but when you flip a coin a thousand times and get ten heads in a row, you don’t.
Image credit: James Beacham for the ATLAS collaboration, via his Twitter account.
That’s what happened here. Come get the story and find out ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod