Photo Source: CERN
I just had a look at the most recent New Scientist at our local library, because the cover lured me in with its title ‘Welcome to the Un-universe – Unparticles, Ungravity, Unmissable’. The first thing that came to my head was the tune of George Clinton’s ‘Undisco Kidd’, but then my thoughts move on to the possibility of ‘Mutable Unmatter’! I knew that physicists are talking about ‘dark matter’, ‘anti matter’ and even ‘strange matter’ – but ‘un-matter’? Hmh.
I opened the magazine and was greeted by another headline: ‘‘Have we been missing an entirely different kind of matter?’ So what is the matter? Howard Georgi, who researches this kind of ‘missing matter’, calls it ‘unparticles’, because it does not behave like particles. Apparently, ‘unparticles interact very weakly with ordinary matter’ – so instead they are ‘checking how this might affect everything from the orbit of Mercury to the production of black holes at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider).’ Black Holes on Earth? Whoops.
Anyway, if you do not fancy looking things up in the New Scientist, here is a brief article, not quite as entertaining as the New Scientist article, though, which ends with a brilliant Howard Georgi statement, namely: ‘All I knew was that I had found something cool and I wanted other people to take a look and see what kinds of weird things they might be capable of doing – what mysteries they might solve.’
The first mystery seems to be the word ‘Unparticle Physics’ itself, as stated by a website on nano-biotechnology: ‘Unparticle Physics – It’s not a typo, it’s a new theory’. We shall wait and see what kinds of ‘matter mutations’ will be induced through these particles – or ‘unparticles’…