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No. 25: Jan-Feb 1983

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Anomalons Are Lazy Or Fat

No, an "anomalon" is not an animal unknown to science.

"Anomalon" is the name that has been given to unusual fragments that are created in high-energy collisions of atomic nuclei. The fragments are peculiar because they appear not to travel as far as expected in the special "nuclear" emulsion used to study the interactions of high-energy nuclei from heavy-ion accelerators or in cosmic rays. This suggests that the anomalons are either much larger than conventional nuclei, and are more likely to interact in the emulsion and therefore do not travel so far, or are some unusually long-lived form of matter, lasting for around 1011 seconds or more."

One thought is that anomalons may be constructed of two triplets of quarks. These sextets are called "demon deuterons." Another hypothesis has small nuclei bound loosely together -- they don't say by what. The whole thing is up in the air, or should we say in the emulsion?

(Sutton, Christine; "Anomalon Data Continue to Baffle Physicists," New Scientist, 96:160, 1982.)

Comment. One thing is sure, nuclear physicists have a lot of fun naming their newly found particles.

From Science Frontiers #25, JAN-FEB 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987