Oct 22, 2022

Physicists Baffled by Proton Structure Anomaly

Posted by in category: physics

Precision measurement of how a proton’s structure deforms in an electric field has revealed new details about an unexplained spike in proton data.

Nuclear physicists have confirmed that the current description of proton structure isn’t perfect. A bump in the data in probes of the proton’s structure has been revealed by a new precision measurement of the proton’s electric polarizability performed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. When this was seen in earlier measurements, it was widely thought to be a fluke. However, this new, more precise measurement has confirmed the presence of the anomaly and raises important questions about its origin. The research was published on October 19 in the journal Nature.

“There is something that we’re clearly missing at this point. The proton is the only composite building block in nature that is stable. So, if we are missing something fundamental there, it has implications or consequences for all of physics.” —

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