CDF

Fermilab’s CDF experiment has recently announced a measurement of the mass of the W boson with unprecedented precision. Even more interesting, the measurement disagrees with theoretical predictions. If confirmed, this could be a very big deal. In this video, Fermilab’s Don Lincoln gives a far-ranging explanation of the measurement and its significance.

From Popular Mechanics, April 9, 2022: New research shows the W boson is heavier than scientists expected with the discovery going against the Standard Model of particle physics. Recently, a 400-person team announced the results of data they carefully sifted through of more than four million collisions from the Collider Detector at Fermilab.

From the BBC, April 7, 2022: Scientists of the CDF collaboration have found a tiny difference in the mass of the W Boson compared with what the theory says it should be – just 0.1%. If confirmed by other experiments, the implications could be enormous and could challenge the Standard Model of particle physics.

The top quark is the heaviest known elementary particle, as small as an electron but 340,000 times more massive! We don’t know how small those particles are, only that they are smaller than 1/1000th the size of a proton which itself is 1/100,000th the size of the smallest atom, hydrogen. Millionths, billionths, … soon we’re talking small numbers!

Twenty-five years ago, scientists on the CDF and DZero particle physics experiments at Fermilab announced one of history’s biggest breakthroughs in particle physics: the discovery of the long-sought top quark. The collaborations on the two experiments jointly made the announcement on March 2, 1995, to much fanfare. We take a look back on this day in Fermilab history a quarter-century ago.