In DepthParticle Physics

Calculation could dim hopes for new physics

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Science  16 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6539, pp. 226
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6539.226

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Summary

Talk about raining on your colleagues' parade. On 7 April, a collaboration of more than 200 experimenters announced to great fanfare that a particle called the muon is slightly more magnetic than predicted by physicists' standard model, a discrepancy that could signal new particles waiting to be discovered. But on the same day, 14 theorists with the Budapest-Marseille-Wuppertal (BMW) collaboration published a paper that suggests the consensus theoretical prediction is wrong. Using a relatively new technique called lattice quantum chromodynamics, BMW researchers calculated a value that sits closer to the experimental result and makes the tantalizing discrepancy nearly vanish. Other theorists say it's premature to put too much credence in a single calculation and argue that, to the best of physicists' knowledge, the muon really is more magnetic than the standard model predicts.

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