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New force of nature may have been found which would rewrite laws of physics

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Researchers used a 15-tonne electromagnet to observe how subatomic particles called muons ‘wobble’ (Picture: FermiLabs)

The way we understand the universe could be changed forever after subatomic particles appeared to bend the rules of physics in two breakthrough experiments.

Physicists say the results have been ‘tantalising’ and that they may have found signs of a fifth force of nature.

So far four fundamental forces have been used to explain everything that happens in the universe.

Gravity makes things fall to the ground, electromagnetism deals with the force between two electrically charged particles, strong force binds subatomic particles together and weak force can break them apart.

But physicists were left baffled and thrilled when tiny particles called muons didn’t behave as expected in two different long-running experiments in the United States and Europe.

If proven right, the findings could reveal major problems with the rulebook used by scientists to explain how the universe works at a subatomic level.

At a press conference, Fermilab experiment co-chief scientist Chris Polly said: ‘We think we might be swimming in a sea of background particles all the time that just haven’t been directly discovered.

The long-awaited first results from the Muon g-2 experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy?s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory show fundamental particles called muons behaving in a way that is not predicted by scientists? best theory, the Standard Model of particle physics. This landmark result, made with unprecedented precision, confirms a discrepancy that has been gnawing at researchers for decades. The strong evidence that muons deviate from the Standard Model calculation might hint at exciting new physics. Muons act as a window into the subatomic world and could be interacting with yet undiscovered particles or forces.

Scientists found the muons were 0.1% off the established rulebook for physics (Picture: FermiLabs)

‘There might be monsters we haven’t yet imagined that are emerging from the vacuum interacting with our muons and this gives us a window into seeing them.’

The current rulebook, called the Standard Model, was developed about 50 years ago and has been backed up by decades of experiments.

But after scientists sent muon particles, which are similar to electrons, through a 15-tonne electromagnet to observe how they ‘wobble’, they were found to be 0.1% off the model.

That may not sound like much, but to particle physicists it is huge – more than enough to upend current understanding.

It suggests they could be interacting with undiscovered particles or forces. As these particles form naturally when cosmic rays hit the Earth’s atmosphere, these findings could completely change how we believe the universe works.

The long-awaited first results from the Muon g-2 experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy?s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory show fundamental particles called muons behaving in a way that is not predicted by scientists? best theory, the Standard Model of particle physics. This landmark result, made with unprecedented precision, confirms a discrepancy that has been gnawing at researchers for decades. The strong evidence that muons deviate from the Standard Model calculation might hint at exciting new physics. Muons act as a window into the subatomic world and could be interacting with yet undiscovered particles or forces.

The variation in behaviour may not seem like much, but it’s enough to fundamentally change the way scientists understand the universe (Picture: FermiLabs)

The UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) said the result ‘provides strong evidence for the existence of an undiscovered sub-atomic particle or new force’.

Wayne State University particle physicist Alexey Petrov said: ‘New particles, new physics might be just beyond our research. It’s tantalising.’

English particle physicist Professor Brian Cox called the result ‘important and exciting’.

He tweeted: ‘It is getting close to the discovery of new physics beyond the Standard Model –new fundamental particles basically,’ he tweeted.

‘It would be the biggest discovery in Particle Physics for many years – certainly up there with The Higgs Boson.’

Professor Brian Cox tweets about an experiment on muons and how they could reveal a new force of nature.

Professor Brian Cox says the discovery is very exciting news (Picture: Twitter/@ProfBrianCox)

Yesterday the United States Energy Department’s Fermilab announced results of 8.2billion races along a magnetised track outside Chicago.

The purpose of the track was to keep the particles in existence long enough for researchers to get a closer look at them.

There is still a one in a 40,000 chance that the muons’ mysterious behaviour could be a statistical error.

But if confirmed, the results would be the biggest finding in the world of subatomic particles in nearly 10 years, since the discovery of the Higgs boson, often called the ‘God particle’.

It follows results published last month from the European Centre for Nuclear Research’s Large Hadron Collider that found a surprising proportion of particles in the aftermath of high-speed collisions.

The long-awaited first results from the Muon g-2 experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy?s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory show fundamental particles called muons behaving in a way that is not predicted by scientists? best theory, the Standard Model of particle physics. This landmark result, made with unprecedented precision, confirms a discrepancy that has been gnawing at researchers for decades. The strong evidence that muons deviate from the Standard Model calculation might hint at exciting new physics. Muons act as a window into the subatomic world and could be interacting with yet undiscovered particles or forces.

The long-awaited first results from the Muon g-2 experiment at the US Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Picture: FermiLabs)

The point of the experiments is to pull apart particles and find out if there is ‘something funny going on’ with them and the space they occupy, explains Johns Hopkins University theoretical physicist David Kaplan.

He added: ‘The secrets don’t just live in matter. They live in something that seems to fill in all of space and time. These are quantum fields.

‘We’re putting energy into the vacuum and seeing what comes out.’

Both sets of results involve the strange, fleeting particle called the muon – the heavier cousin to the electron that orbits an atom’s centre.

But the muon is not part of the atom, it is unstable and normally exists for only two microseconds.

After it was discovered in cosmic rays in 1936 it so confounded scientists that a famous physicist asked ‘who ordered that?’

‘Since the very beginning it was making physicists scratch their heads,’ said Graziano Venanzoni, an experimental physicist at an Italian national lab, who is one of the top scientists on the US Fermilab experiment, called Muon g-2.

Researchers need another year or two to finish analysing the results of all of the laps around the 50ft. If the results do not change, it will count as a major discovery, Mr Venanzoni said.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.


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An actual house is an NFT now

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A real estate broker named Shane Dulgeroff decided to take advantage of the NFT hype. He’s selling a house at 221 Dryden Street, in Thousand Oaks, California along with an NFT of a psychedelic-flavored video of the house.

The artwork and house are up for auction on OpenSea, with a minimum bid of 48 ETH, or almost $117,000. No one has bid yet, and the auction closes in seven days. The house previously sold at $746,000, according to real-estate platform Zillow.

“It’s less about the significance of the art as it is the significance of us using a platform like this to sell a home,” Dulgeroff told Fast Company. “The significance that the art will carry, it’s going to be stored in your digital wallet forever as living proof that you purchased the first home ever that was done through any kind of a crypto platform directly. So that’s where the real value is.”

NFTs are usually used to support digital goods — for instance: art, music, and trading cards. Currently there are no laws to explain how this might work, or what the taxes will be. “It really is an interesting process navigating the legal side of it, the tax side of it, the transfer side of it to make sure it’s all done correctly,” Dulgeroff told Fast Company. Perhaps that explains the lack of bids — no one wants to get in trouble with tax collectors.

The art that comes with the house was designed by Kii Arens. This isn’t the only Arens NFT; his pop-art confections inspired by Yusaku Maezawa’s attempted space mission are also up for sale. Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, announced in 2018 that he planned to go to the Moon with artists. “I want to be on that spaceship as it travels farther than any human has from Earth,” Arens wrote to explain the inspiration for the NFT set.

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New blast at St. Vincent volcano; cruise ship helps evacuees

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La Soufriere volcano has shot out another explosive burst of gas and ash and a cruise ship has arrived to evacuate some of the foreigners who had been stuck on a St. Vincent island by a week of violent eruptions

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — La Soufriere volcano shot out another explosive burst of gas and ash on Friday as a cruise ship arrived to evacuate some of the foreigners who had been stuck on a St. Vincent island coated in ash from a week of violent eruptions.

The explosions that began on April 9 forced some 20,000 to flee the northern end of the eastern Caribbean island for shelters and contaminated water supplies across the island.

Friday morning’s blast “wasn’t a big explosion compared to the ones that we last weekend, but it was big enough to punch a hole through the clouds,” said Richard Robertson, lead scientist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, in an interview with local NBC radio. “Probably got up to 8,000 meters (26,000 feet).”

During a comparable eruption cycle in 1902, explosive eruptions continued to shake the island for months after an initial burst killed some 1,700 people, though the new eruptions so far have caused no reported deaths among a population that had received official warning a day earlier that danger was imminent.

Meanwhile, British, U.S. and Canadian nationals were being evacuated aboard Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection from the harbor in the Kingstown, capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The ship was due to arrive Saturday in Dutch Sint Maarten.

Dozens of foreigners toting luggage descended from tour buses and cars at the port terminal in Kingstown and patiently waited in a line that began in the parking lot and reached deep into the terminal.

They included students from the Trinity School of Medicine along with stranded tourists, including families with young children in arms.

“As of right now, we are being evacuated for our safety and to keep the island as safe as possible,” said LLeah Ransai, a Canadian student at Trinity. “Between the school, the government and the embassies of the US and Canada, we’re being evacuated now.”

The U.S. Embassy said those aboard would have to make their own travel arrangements home.

It also noted in an official statement that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recommended against travel on cruise ships because the chance of getting COVID-19 and said people who had been in close contact with suspected COVID-19 cases were barred from the trip. All aboard were supposed to have a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of boarding.

Meanwhile, thousands of locals were stuck n emergency shelters with no idea when they might be able to return home.

Levi Lewis, 58, a retired public servant from the town of Fancy, said the eruption had left him trying to get by with practically nothing.

“I just reusing clothing cause i didn’t walk with much,” he said. “Plus water is an issue, so I’m trying to conserve it still.”

“I want to go back home, or to whatever is left of it,” he added.

A few people, however, never left, defying evacuation orders.

Raydon May, a bus conductor in his late 20s who stayed in Sandy Bay throughout the eruptions, said he had always planned to stay if the volcano erupted and was trying to protect properties in the community while making occasional trips outside the evacuation zone to pick up water and supplies.

He said so much ash had fallen that the roofs of houses were collapsing under the weight.

“One roof might get on like three truckloads of sand,” he said. “We trying to help … but we can’t help everybody.”

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Former Bachelor star Colton Underwood may get a reality show after coming out as gay: The backlash, explained

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ABC/Josh Vertucci

Colton Underwood, the former lead on popular reality series The Bachelor, came out as gay in a very public way this week in an interview with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts. As the news spread, so did reports that Netflix is working with Underwood on a reality show that follows his life as an openly gay man. “I’m gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it,” Underwood told Roberts on Wednesday. “I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.”

Some people face considerable obstacles on their path to coming out, and Underwood shared his own. “I’ve ran from myself for a long time. I’ve hated myself for a long time,” he told Roberts.   

The response to Underwood’s revelation has been largely supportive, with many — including Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy who is openly gay, and alumni and producers of the popular long-running dating show — applauding the 29-year-old Underwood for his honesty and sending messages of pride and solidarity. 

“I am so proud of you for finally being able to share and live your truth,” tweeted Tayshia Adams, who competed on his season of the series and went on to star in her own season of The Bachelorette, another show in ABC’s reality dating franchise.  

But Underwood’s alleged past treatment of Cassie Randolph, the woman he chose on his Bachelor season, has complicated the reactions. After the pair’s breakup in 2020, Randolph, 25, was granted a restraining order against her former boyfriend. She said he’d placed a tracking device on her car, sent her harassing texts and showed up uninvited to her LA apartment and her parent’s home. According to TMZ, she later dismissed the restraining order and asked that the police investigation be dropped. 

Following Underwood’s GMA revelation, Variety reported that Netflix is planning a reality show that looks at Underwood’s life as an openly gay man, and now a Change.org petition is circulating urging Netflix to cancel those plans. The petition has more than 10,000 signatures as of Friday morning. Online petitions have no actual power, but they do serve as a barometer of public opinion.  

“Regardless of his sexuality, Colton should not be given a platform as a result of his abusive, manipulative and dangerous behavior,” the writer of the petition says. 

Wrote one of the petition’s signers, “I’m a survivor of stalking, and it repulses me to see someone like this given a platform as though he’s done nothing wrong. I will absolutely cancel my Netflix subscription if you go through with this.”

The petition also links to a Reddit thread offering a link to documents in the Randolph-Underwood case.

Netflix didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, and a representative for Underwood said the reality star had no comment.  

Here’s more on Colton Underwood and the complex reactions to his coming out and the possibility of him getting his own show.    

Who’s Colton Underwood?

Colton Underwood was born in Indianapolis and raised in Illinois, where he played college football at Illinois State University. The Bachelor hyped him as a pro football player, but if you never heard of him, there’s a reason. Underwood was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers in 2014, but waived before the season began. He briefly played for the practice squads of the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders, but never appeared in a real NFL game. 

His dating life brought him much more fame than his sports career. Even before The Bachelor, Underwood dated Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman. That relationship made headlines too, and the couple even attended the Golden Globe Awards together in 2017. They broke up later that year.

His Bachelor life

Underwood first appeared as a contestant on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette in 2018. He was eventually eliminated but showed up again in the franchise’s spinoff show, Bachelor in Paradise. By now he’d become a favorite of some fans and the show’s producers cast him in the title role of The Bachelor for the show’s 2019 season, heavily hyping him as “the virgin Bachelor.” Underwood chose California speech pathologist Cassie Randolph, but didn’t propose marriage to her in the finale. 

Police involvement post show 

Underwood and Randolph dated for a year before their May 2020 breakup. She filed for the restraining order that fall, before dismissing it and asking that the police investigation be dropped. 

“The two of us were able to reach a private agreement to address any of Cassie’s concerns,” Underwood told TMZ at the time. “I do not believe Cassie did anything wrong in filing for the restraining orders and also believe she acted in good faith.”

Coming out and Cassie

Underwood told Good Morning America that Randolph didn’t know he was gay. He also said he’d like to apologize to his former girlfriend, and while he didn’t address the restraining order directly, admitted, “I made mistakes at the end of that relationship.” Following the interview, many on Reddit expressed support for Randolph and shared their own stories of being harassed by ex-partners.

Some also expressed offense at Underwood suggesting any link between past harassing behavior and confusion over his sexuality.   

“As a gay man,” wrote one Reddit user, “I find this whole thing abhorrent. I spent my fair share of time in the closet, and coming to terms with my sexuality. It’s still something I’m working on, being out and proud.

“For his behavior to be excused because he was gay is wrong. It paints this picture that somehow closeted gay men are what, unstable but cured by coming out? That his actions were excusable because he was gay? I’m confused by the narrative. I’m insulted by it.” 

If the reality show happens, a source told Variety it’ll focus on Underwood’s dating life, and on discovering his sexuality as a gay man. Us magazine reported that Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy was spotted filming with Underwood. Kenworthy came out as gay in 2015. 

Underwood’s coming-out may even ripple back to the show that made him famous. Unnamed Bachelor sources told TMZ that Underwood’s coming out has sparked internal discussion among show producers about possibly casting a gay season of the show.


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