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No new physics for Tevatron ... yet: world's largest collider KO's unusual findings from rival.

After the world's most powerful particle colliders went toe-to-toe July 22 at the Europhysics Conference on High-Energy Physics in Grenoble, France, the result was a technical knockout.

Data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider near Geneva delivered a serious blow to hints of unusual new physics coming from the Tevatron at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. With 70 trillion collisions under its belt, the LHC has stalwartly defended the standard model, the reigning theory of particle physics.

"We're learning that the standard model is very hard to kill," says Pierluigi Campana, spokesman for the LHCb detector team.

Researchers at the Collider Detector at Fermilab had reported the first signs of a rare decay in a paper posted online July 12 at arXiv.org. Particles called B, mesons seemed to be disintegrating into a muon (a cousin of the electron) and an anti-muon more frequently than expected. The standard model predicts that three out of every billion Bs mesons will meet this fate. Measurements suggested a higher rate of about 18 per billion.

But at the recent meeting physicists from two LHC detectors presented Bs meson decay sightings consistent with established particle theory.

Fans can look forward to a rematch, however. The Tevatron has found signs that the top quark (the heaviest fundamental particle) and its antimatter partner, the antitop quark, prefer to move in opposite directions. An initial search at the LHC found no evidence of this puzzling behavior, which would be at odds with the standard model.

But with the LHC dataset expected to at least double in size this year and the Tevatron collecting data until its shutdown in September, everyone is looking forward to a winter bout between these friendly rivals.

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Title Annotation:Atom & Cosmos; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory's Tevatron and CERN's Large Hadron Collider
Author:Powell, Devin
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 27, 2011
Words:286
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