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Sherlock-Holmie t1_j94vcn0 wrote

Disclaimer: Degree in physics but not a focus on particle physics

This doesn’t have much use for physical applications. It’s kind of particle physicists doing particle physicist things.

The goal of this experiment is to get a more stringent physical measurement of a calculated value. This has a few potential purposes:

  1. physical measurements begin consistently never matching calculated value. This will suggest unknown interactions/particles. Particle physicists love inventing these. This leads to the third point

  2. Gaining more information on the fine structure constant (one of the spooky fundamental values of the universe) (Probably the most useful aspect of this experiment)

  3. the paper apparently ties this to dark matter in a very particle physicist manner. This measurement supposedly helps disprove some proposed limits on dark particles masses for them to just arbitrarily alter their equations to overfit the data.


AxeMaster237 t1_j95uku4 wrote

>This doesn’t have much use for physical applications. It’s kind of particle physicists doing particle physicist things.

Would you say it's similar to the math community calculating more digits of pi?


Sherlock-Holmie t1_j95vowq wrote

Calculating the digits of pi in modern times is pretty much purely for competitions

This is more particle physicists flinging stuff at the wall hoping something will stick. That’s kind of their thing


TricksterWolf t1_j96fzy3 wrote

You sound a bit dismissive of them (not that I disagree entirely).


Sherlock-Holmie t1_j96j5wc wrote

They just have a reputation of doing poor science. They’re smart people, but have a tendency to try and come up with something from nothing since the 1950s.

The high energy physics cycle for most of them is “hey we technically don’t know this isn’t true and if we finagle this in this way it technically fits all the old data but also predicts this” then an experiment some years later shows it isn’t true then they finagle a little more.

They also have to be writing something or they’re out of a job but the challenge is that the standard model is pretty exceptional so there isn’t many things to investigate more directly


TricksterWolf t1_j96mbfo wrote

I agree with all of this, though perhaps not as robustly.

I have a friend with a Post-hole Digger in quantum physics. He said he was finally able to get a job when a prospective employer realized somepony with his credentials could perform tasks other than firing a particle beam at a target.


Detectorbloke t1_j9bh8if wrote

>They just have a reputation

Just because it's the latest video in an obnoxious YouTube channel doesn't mean it's their "reputation".


Detectorbloke t1_j9bb5ko wrote

Not at all. This is a test if our models are correct. If they find a dipole moment, it has to be explained by new theories. If they don't, then they can rule out proposed extensions of our current models that would imply a non-zero dipole moment. There's no comparable model that predicts the n-th digit of pi to be a 7 and if it's a 6 we need a new model.


minormajorseventh t1_j96fwyo wrote

Theoretically, couldn’t you use the spin direction of an electron as yet another means of computational processing strength in microchips? Like, if a microchip consists of a bunch of atomic “switches” that are either on or off, and you had another controllable variable (spin direction) you could incorporate, wouldn’t that mean that you could have dramatically greater chip processing power? Full disclosure I have no clue what I am talking about.


Sherlock-Holmie t1_j96i2m4 wrote

Some quick research shows that there are people that have been trying to develop electron spin-based transistors for about 30 years now. The name of the transistor is spin transistor and the field of engineering based around developing stuff using electron’s spin property is called spintronics.

It doesn’t seem like they’ve had much success, but handling things with single electrons is extremely challenging since they’re quantum systems. Everything is probabilistic in nature and challenging to manipulate. Current transistors are having physical limitations due to being so small that electrons can tunnel to where they shouldn’t be (or so I’ve been told. I haven’t fact checked this. I’m not a hardware guy)

I’m pretty cynical towards particle physics, but I’m all for attempting challenging engineering


ThrillSurgeon t1_j94zsum wrote

Double the precision is good. Especially considering the tradeoff between location and motion.


[deleted] t1_j94wm8r wrote



spunkyenigma t1_j952a8b wrote

Until it does produces something.

Science goes down so many rabbit holes that even Alice takes a break.

Disproving a theory obviously has its merits as well


[deleted] t1_j957hm0 wrote



malenkylizards t1_j95q3cj wrote

How is that money "lost"? It translates into one hell of a lot of jobs, which translate into money spent in all the surrounding businesses, all benefitting local taxpayers, which, of course, translates into more tax revenue. Comparably little (not none obvs, we live in a capitalism) of that goes to actual billionaires, at least compared to loads of other ways we could spend those billions.

Money only works if it moves.


TricksterWolf t1_j96kc3j wrote

Amusingly, a lot of people who dismiss scientific funding don't even blink when the US spends trillions on a new fighter jet whose ignoble function may end up being naught but shooting down a small balloon with a $400,000 missile.

In contrast, data lasts forever and stands to benefit all of us.


iwillcuntyou t1_j9594tv wrote

How do you propose it should be done?


bripi t1_j998rnf wrote

Oh, no, I think this is the right way. I just find the quote funny. Wish I could figure out who said it!


Xaendeau t1_j96gfoe wrote

Better spent on science than wars.


bripi t1_j9994d1 wrote

How about housing the homeless? Feeding people? Improving infrastructures? So many other useful things that actually have tangible, real-world benefits.


Xaendeau t1_j99ef1u wrote

Literally all those things you listed are less important than if the money was put into science. Every penny spent in scientific research is investing in the future of humanity.

This goes to show how unaware you are about how science works. Pure, fundamental research is the basis of what technological advancements in applied science and engineering are built from:

My dude, just like, read the Wikipedia article and become educated about the matter. If you need examples, I got about a dozen I can think of off the top of my head.


bripi t1_j99fsr6 wrote

>This goes to show how unaware you are about how science works.

ha ha ha ha ha ha that's hilarious! I had to screenshot that comment, no one is going to believe someone said that to me. Thanks for turning this witch-hunt into something funny!


Xaendeau t1_j99gg29 wrote

Hey man, stay ignorant if you want. It's a choice at this point. If you want actual dialogue, hit me up and I can give you examples of science that has paid exponential dividends in our society.


Xaendeau t1_j99iz8j wrote

While I'm waiting for the sudafed to hopefully help my sinuses, I'd like to know why you think money spent in basic science is a bad use of taxes. Scientific research and educational funding is something I'm passionate about. It's the best way to spend tax dollars.

I'm here all night, my face hurts too much to sleep.


bripi t1_j99nphu wrote

Don't hold your breath. I'm 100% done talking with you.


Xaendeau t1_j9bxjtk wrote

Hey, don't get offended when someone calls you out on something you should already know. Fundamental, pure research is critically important.


TricksterWolf t1_j96juqs wrote

I'm amused that you think the short duration of the Higgs boson is a strike against it when the exact opposite is true.

I agree that collider money may be arguably overspent in terms of funding, but there isn't an easier approach. Particle theory is important. In case you haven't noticed, it allows us increasingly good predictions for quantum materials science, which is exploding in new discoveries right now as we race to build an adiabatic quantum computer that will break existing encryption technology. Your phone probably uses quantum dots; a lot of the tech we use daily has ties to basic particle research. It's easy to be dismissive when you don't understand the point of research, but this is an area that--while arguably overfunded or misfunded--is still very important.


FalloutHUN t1_j9503uz wrote

You take that back!!



bripi t1_j956ur2 wrote

ha ha ha yeah I'm getting alot of d/v but no one's actually arguing, so it's just haters hatin'.


SaishDawg t1_j95srp7 wrote

Does the more precise measurement resolve or make more puzzling the g-2 (dipole anomaly) announced by Fermilab a few months ago?


FlipFlopX t1_j9686l5 wrote

Neither. The g-2 measurement is done with a muon, not an electron. Since any anomalies scale with mass squared, and the muon is 200 times heavier than an electron, that experiment is 40000 times more sensitive to new physics than this one. Doubling the electron measurement accuracy reveals nothing new.


SaishDawg t1_j96g55h wrote

Thanks for the succinct and illuminating explanation!


Rich_Acanthisitta_70 t1_j95fieq wrote

Are there any practical applications of this knowledge?

Not that there has to be. I value knowledge for its own sake, and for the stepping stone it always is to greater knowledge. But I am curious.


thedabking123 t1_j9664jt wrote

Sometimes this can unlock other knowledge that has practical applications.

Einstein’s equations were considered useless… until later on it helped unlock ultra precise GPS and other practical applications later.


TricksterWolf t1_j96hlcw wrote

This is science in a nutshell (as well as math, in the event you don't think of it as science).

A lot of cancer-fighting treatments don't come from directed research looking for a cure, but rather from pure research gathered in natural studies. So don't write off silly-sounding investigation into, say, the motility of sea urchin sperm.

It's another arena where politicians suck, too. There was a funded study on dog micturition (urination) that I can easily imagine a US politician shouting at the cameras, "We're wasting three thousand dollars on dog pee!", because it's a great soundbite for outrage. In reality the study looked at the fact that all puppies pee sitting down, but curs stand up, which means something changes the instinct. Turns out that neurons in the spinal cords of male dogs physically rearrange themselves to do this. Groundbreaking research can be challenging to fund, in part because it often isn't directed at a solution to a problem in advance. Sometimes we just have to learn more about nature.


alhamdilah9 t1_j94sd39 wrote

Could a more precise MRI unit be produced with this knowledge?


mfb- t1_j957u4z wrote

No. They use proton spins, not electrons, and their limits are coming from other sources.


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Desertbro t1_j957tzn wrote

Was this research done by the physicist formerly known as Prince....?


TricksterWolf t1_j96il7y wrote

I don't get the joke. Is it because the image vaguely reminds you of the Prince symbol?


reddittisfreedom t1_j9466h4 wrote

Apply this to something an average American would use. ELI5.


Tidesticky t1_j94fthv wrote

I suspect you gotta be an average 29 year old quantum particle spin physicist to use this info.


TricksterWolf t1_j96ie74 wrote

This data is mostly used to test existing theory. Eventually we may find a discrepancy that suggests the Standard Model is missing something, though this seems unlikely in the near future as the model has accurately predicted pretty much everything we throw at it.

It's how science works best: you make your boat, then do everything in your power to sink it. The boats that stay afloat, like quantum chromodynamics, quantum field theory, and general relativity, are the ones that continue to work in ever-more difficult situations.


Xaendeau t1_j99kvq7 wrote

For real? Ok, sure.

Measuring this more precisely let's people know better that reality works like equations predict. If we know there's a discrepancy, we can discover why and learn new science...which doesn't benefit Americans in 2023, but might be a piece of a puzzle that benefits Americans in 2073. Advances in the standard model paves the way for exotic technology that becomes commonplace decades later.

Maxwell published that electromagnetic propagation should happen back in something like 1865. These had zero applications in 1865, but by 1901, there was wireless communication across the Atlantic. Around 150 years later, you were typing this comment on a phone or computer that is a direct engineering application of Maxwell's equations, such as light coming out of your screen to read these words, sending data across the internet, and CPU/GPU/motherboard architecture.