The Muon is a particle in the Lepton family, of which the Electron also belongs. Mostly everyone has heard of the Electron, but the Muon? OK, that particle, not so much air-play, but it does "exist". A recent discovery coming from Fermi Lab has been feeding an incredible amount of secondary stories in the media lately. Apparently our understanding of the sub-atomic particles of the universe has been all wrong, and we'll need to reinvent our map of fundamental components of the universe.
Well, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water just yet...
Here's a nice diagram of where we are in understanding matter. Basically, normal matter (which is stable) consists of the lower energy state Quarks (Up/Charmed/Top) and Leptons (Electrons/e-Neutrinos), and you tend to see the rest when you start colliding particles together in the magnetic containers at CERN (East-European) and Fermilab (West-American) labs.
What I find REALLY interesting are Boson particles, the ones responsible for exchanging the forces as we understand today, which are the Strong, Weak, Electromagnetic, and Gravity forces, but this is NOT about them, at least, not so much.
So, back the Muon...
Bear with me a moment as we are going to get a bit deep into some specifics to explain this new "discovery".
As per many calculations, and measurements taken at (Brookhaven in 2001/Fermilab in 2021), the magnetic field of the Muon was postulated to be at a specific value (which results in a "wobbling" behaviour when it is travelling within the magnetic containers of these massive particle colliders). However, when they actually managed to measure this wobble via an experiment, the magnetic field was slightly off in strength from the expected calculated value. The difference in 2001 was explained by some spooky quantum physics behaviour referred to as "quantum foam" where (known) particles can appear/disappear randomly near orbit about the Muon, effectively popping in and out of existence momentarily, just enough to cause a variation in the magnetic field strength of the Muon.
Fermilab's testing is able to accumulate many more Muons than previously, and the recent measurements were (of the wobble) were found to be significantly different than the Berkeley findings. This means that something is occurring within this quantum foam effect that is not expected (perhaps another a new type of particle or force interaction), we just do not know.
Are we really upending the existing standard model with this finding? My take, not a all. Seems to me, the closer we look into what we think the universe is made of, the more unexpected things we find. This recent experiment is yet another example solidifying this as a fundamental truth.
I DO think we are far from understanding the true nature of the force (boson) side of the model - especially with gravity and gravitons - so stay tuned - we have a lot more to learn.... :)