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Apparently there has been a paper in nature claiming the finding of a new particle? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413160004.htm

Does that mean a new fundamental particle has been found with a special design of "common materials"? How does that relate to the standard model?

I hope someone can clarify the meaning of that announcement.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Nope, this is just a quasiparticle excitation, like other quasiparticles in condensed matter physics including spinons, chargons, phonons, and others. If they're right, their particular material allows excitations described by fermionic Majorana spinors but they're just emergent fields out of the normal fields that involve leptons, quarks, and the electromagnetic field.

Moreover, I am not sure whether they produce 3+1-dimensional Majorana spinor fields or just lower-dimensional ones. The latter, especially quasiparticles on a wire i.e. in 1+1 dimensions, are of course an easier task.

No implications for particle physics.

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Thanks! So it's similar to magnetic monopol discovery. How boring :) –  Gerenuk Apr 20 '12 at 9:49
    
Exactly. And there are many examples like that, including sonic black holes, apparent superluminal motion etc. ;-) Those fields love to produce results that superficially look similar to concepts in fundamental physics because deeply in their bones, they know very well that fundamental physics is more exciting and potentially shocking than their research... –  Luboš Motl Apr 20 '12 at 10:10

This a quasi-particle, living in a specially constructed and fined-tuned solid (InSb nanowire in this case). It is not a fundamental particle of the vacuum we find ourselves in. Condesned matter systems offer very rich possibilities to explore both theoretically and experimentally very exotic (quasi-)particles, e.g., anyons.

So no direct implications for the Standrad model whatsoever.

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You sent it 34 seconds before me. ;-) –  Luboš Motl Apr 20 '12 at 9:18
    
Shall we +1 each other? ;) The question is such a classic of hype effects –  Slaviks Apr 20 '12 at 9:27

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