New Electron Analysis Counters Some TheoriesCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: December 23, 2013 10:04AM
Many scientists have been in an awkward position for decades now as they have been using a model they know is incorrect, but have been unable to find one better. The Standard Model is the current rule book for particle physics and has many flaws to it so many replacements have been proposed. Now researchers at Yale and Harvard Universities have performed a study of electrons that indicates many of those replacements are also wrong.
According to the Standard Model, the electron is not a perfectly spherical particle, in terms of its dipole moment, because other particles are affecting it. These effects should tug it into an oval or egg-like shape, and that is what the researchers were measuring for. With their high-precision equipment, if an electron were the size of the Earth, they would have been able to detect a deviation one ten-thousandth the width of a human hair. They detected no deformation from a perfect sphere.
With no deformation being detected, many theories that would have required it appear to have been proven wrong. Perhaps in several years when the researchers increase the experiment's precision by a factor of ten the deformation from a sphere will be measured. Until then, almost certainly we will see new models of particle physics proposed and old ones reimagined to fit this result.
Source: Yale University