On the 24th of January 2013, it was announced that one of the most common particles of the cosmos, the proton, surprised the physicists. This proton seems to be smaller than it was thought. After many tests, nobody has been able to understand why it happens.
The concerns about the proton began in 2010 when it was shown that the particle was 4% smaller. Scientists started to research with hydrogen, an atom that consists of one proton and one electron, and muons. When they mixed both in a particle accelerator, they discovered that a muon replaced an electron. They probed this hydrogen with a laser and they obtained a very accurate measurement of the protons. However, this measurement was different of the results of other methods, but scientists think that all the methods are correct.
This group of scientists may have discovered new physics, because there is a small probability that muons interact with protons differently from electrons, although some important scientists don’t believe this. However, they can’t find any mistakes in the muon experiment, although they have reviewed all the equations and theories.
In my opinion, if the measurement obtained by the procedure of probing the muonic hydrogen with a laser is compatible with the measurements obtained by other non-muonic techniques, it will be proved that the hypothesis of new physics is correct. I think that if they don’t find mistakes, scientists should be more open-minded and believe in new physics, because perhaps everything hasn’t been discovered yet.
I took this article from:
Shrunken proton baffles scientists
The original source is:
Proton Structure from the Measurement of 2S-2P Transition Frequencies of Muonic Hydrogen