09 Feb
Physics Predictions for 2016 Physics Predictions for 2016

Physics Predictions for 2016

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What will those devotees of the mystical realm of physics delve into in the coming months? Here are a few items on a list compiled by LiveScience, which theorizes that "2016 could be the year for some new discoveries". Some highlights:

Particle possibility: A California Institute of Technology physicist says that a new particle might be discovered as a result of experiments at an atom-pulverizing facility known as the LHC. Sean Carroll is quoted as saying, "There's some (extremely tentative) evidence for a new kind of particle about 800 times the mass of the proton  — we'll want to see whether that signal gets stronger or fades away." There's supposedly a 25% chance that a signal indicating the existence of the particle is simply random chance. But once more experiments are conducted this year, scientists should have a better idea whether the particle is legit.

Wave sightings: Gravitational waves that can be traced to events such as the Big Bang and the "smashup" of stars have been detected by indirect means. A key observatory in detecting them directly, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), was recently powered up after being dormant for a few years. Says Carroll, "The Advanced LIGO detector is now up and running, and might be able to see something soon."

Detecting dark matter: By its definition, dark matter in the universe does not reflect light and is therefore not capable of being seen by telescopes. Dark matter does, however, create a gravitational it must be there, right? Several underground detectors are toiling away at methods to detect dark matter. When? Hard to say, though Carroll theorizes that "it could be sooner rather than later."


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Read 1495 times Last modified on Sunday, 31 January 2016 02:19
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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