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No. 54: Nov-Dec 1987

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Through A Peephole Tantalizingly

The flood of data that comes out of the type of physics experiment in which two subatomic particles collide at high energy is often so copious that physicists need some time to notice and interpret some of the strange new things that appear. This is especially true if the strange new things are of a sort that nobody was looking for.

"Thus, some anomalous events that occurred at the PETRA colliding beam apparatus of the German Electron Synchrotron Laboratory (DESY) in Hamburg back in 1984 are now being interpreted as what Harald Fritzsch of DESY calls 'a peephole' into a possible new domain of physics..."

What happened in 1984 was that one detector saw unexplainable particles -- that is, unexplainable in the context of cur rent theories. But since so other detectors in operation saw the event, the data were forgotten. But later, five more such events were seen on a different detector. (Anonymous; "Through a Peephole Tantalizingly," Science News, 132:219, 1987.)

Comment. Just when we were getting used to fractionally charged quarks and particles of different "colors," this has to happen!

From Science Frontiers #54, NOV-DEC 1987. � 1987-2000 William R. Corliss