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No. 37: Jan-Feb 1985

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Squarks and photinos at cern?

At the CERN lab, in Geneva, physicists shoot protons and antiprotons at each other so that they collide head-on. The colliding particles usually fragment one another and in the process release a variety of subatomic debris and energy. Large arrays of detectors surrounding the collision site record the particles as they streak away. Usually the escaping particles can be easily identified; but in 1983 nine strange events were recorded, and more have occurred in 1984. Something both invisible and inexplicable carried off large amounts of energy during these "strange" events. Physicist Carlos Rubbia, of CERN and Harvard, said:

"There is no sensible way to explain the missing energy by known particles."

Some theorists believe that these anomalous events will be explained only by invoking what is termed "supersymmetry" theory. Supersymmetry predicts that twice as many particles as those known today must exist. Already, physicists are rushing to name the new, though unverified particles. The symmetric partner of the "quarks" will be the "squarks"; the "photon" will be paired with the "photino"; there will be the "selectron" for the "electron"; and so on.

(Thomsen, D.E.; "Strange Happenings at CERN," Science News, 126:292, 1984.)

From Science Frontiers #37, JAN-FEB 1985. 1985-2000 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