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Positronium is positively puzzling.

A new measurement of the exotic “atom” — consisting of an electron and its antiparticle, a positron — disagrees with theoretical calculations, scientists report in the Aug. 14 Physical Review Letters. And physicists are at a loss to explain it.

A flaw in either the calculations or the experiment seems unlikely, researchers say. And new phenomena, such as undiscovered particles, also don’t provide an easy answer, adds theoretical physicist Jesús Pérez Ríos of the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin. “Right now, the best I can tell you is, we don’t know,” says Pérez Ríos, who was not involved with the new research.

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Category: Science