Shortage of muons in B meson decay looks suspicious, but needs confirmation
A handful of measurements of decaying particles has seemed slightly off-kilter for years, intriguing physicists. Now a new decay measurement at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva has amplified that interest into tentative enthusiasm, with theoretical physicists proposing that weird new particles could explain the results. Scientists with the LHCb experiment reported the new result on April 18 in a seminar at the European particle physics lab CERN, which hosts the LHC.
“It’s incredibly exciting,” says theoretical physicist Benjamin Grinstein of the University of California, San Diego. The new measurement is “a further hint that there’s something new and unexpected happening in very fundamental interactions.”
Other physicists, however, are more cautious, betting that the series of hints will not lead to a new discovery. “One should always remain suspicious of an effect that does