Muons: 'Strong' Evidence Found For A New Force Of Nature
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April 7, 2021: In an experiment in a particle accelerator in Batavia, Illinois, muons were observed to wobble in a way that does not fit the standard model of physics. This is believed to have only a 1 in 40,000 chance of being a statistical fluke or error, and most likely means that there are is either a fifth fundamental force or a new type of subatomic particle never observed before.

Here's some of the names of ideas coming out of this (and other results from recent experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, also mentioned in the article), any of which might be useful for the mad scientist or applied phlebotinum of your setting:



Game and Story Use

  • As mentioned above, those buzzwords are great for handwavium or pseudoscientific gobbledygook. They sound meaningful (well, maybe "flavour force" not so much), but your players are not yet likely to recognize them, so you can make up details that fit your campaign. And then, a few years from now when it's more understood and one or more of these terms enter the zeitgeist / public lexicon, your players will stumble across it and retroactively think you're pretty smart.
  • Batavia, Illinois isn't far from Chicago, so if your game is set in the windy city (say hello to Harry Dresden) it's not unlikely that your Big Bad and/or the PCs could be responsible for the anomalous results. Maybe muon wobble this is just what happens if you use sorcery near a particle reactor.
  • You might decide this experiment releases some energy that awakens super-powers in one of the scientists involved. There's your character backstory, ripped from the headlines. Your superhero secret identity is: The Wobbly Muon!!!
    • Speaking of Wobblies, you know what else got started in and near Chicago? The Industrial Workers of the World. It might be a fun little bit of world-building to involve the IWW union into a story about wobbling Muons. Perhaps you could use them as a template for a super-hero league: Union of Super Science! International Wonders of the World!
  • This also makes a great departure point for your History of the Future. If your setting depends on some major diversions from real-world physics, you can justify those as being discoveries "unlocked" following these muon-experiments. Wormhole FTL stardrive, exotic matter, another dimension, you name it.
    • And if this transforms science as we know it, then it becomes the sort of critical time juncture that the time police have to carefully protect from future temporal meddlers hoping to rewrite the past.
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