Within two years, however, follow-up experiments had failed to find it. Belief in the existence of a pentaquark has since dwindled, but what was the reason for the apparent contradictory results? Physicists at the University of Glasgow think they have now resolved the problem.
The conventional measure for the discovery of a new particle is that there is a less than 1 in a million chance that the result was a fluke. However, even at the height of the pentaquark excitement, fewer than half the researchers in the field really believed that a new particle had been found.
By considering the odds at which someone would make a bet on the pentaquark's existence, and applying the theory of chance developed by the Rev. Thomas Bayes in the 19th century, the Glasgow team found that the original result was far less conclusive than had been thought, and was in fact compatible with the new results.
Dr David Ireland, Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, said: “If the authors had been licensed betting operators, they would now have been prepared to take bets at odds of 10 to 1 against there being a pentaquark!
“The mathematics at the heart of this work is actually also embedded into the techniques used by Google for efficient searching of the internet, as well as several other artificial intelligence systems. And the proposed technique can be applied to any experiment aimed at discovering new particles.”
Martin Shannon | alfa
Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object
23.05.2017 | University of California - Davis
Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence
23.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
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Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
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