Breaking the Standard Model


So far this has been a lonely and unrewarding quest. New experiments occasionally come along which point to a breakdown of the Standard Model, but up to now they have invariably been proved wrong by more careful analysis or subsequent experiments with better data. A case in point is the energetic jet data from the CDF experiment at FermiLab which suggested possible substructure of the quark. (See my AV column "Inside the Quark" in the September-1996 issue of Analog.) The CDF group found an unexpected excess of "jets" (clumps of energetic particles moving in the same direction) with energies above 200 GeV in their data. They found that they could not explain this excess of high energy jets using the Standard Model, as interpreted by standard theoretical procedures, and they pointed out that the data might represent new physics, possibly an indication that the quark is a composite object made of even more fundamental particles



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