Metaculus Help: Spread the word
If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.
Will no evidence for a new light (17 MeV) particle be independently published before 2021?
In Janurary 2016 Physical Review Letters published a paper by a Hungarian research group reporting anomalous results in the decays of excited beryllium-8 atoms. A careful analysis posted in an April 2016 paper suggests that this anomaly is consistent with the existence of a hitherto unknown light (17 MeV) vector boson.
Since then, interest in this potential new physics has grown, though it is tempered by concern about the experimental group and its previous work; see this story for a nice summary.
As discussed in this story, several ongoing or proposed experiments may be able to independently test the possibility of a new vector boson in this mass range in the next year or two, and it is possible that another team could independently reproduce the original nuclear physics experiment.
A previous question by our glorious leader Anthony resolved on Jan 9, 2018 with no new evidence on the matter. Theoretical work has continued on the subject since (see google scholar) and in October 2019, the original Hungarian group uploaded a new paper to the arxiv where they report observing similar anomalous decays of excited He atoms.
Question: By beginning of 2021, will no independent group publish or post to the arxiv a paper adducing additional experimental evidence for a new vector boson in the mass range of 10-50 MeV?
By independent, we mean that the paper will not share authors with either the PRL experimental paper or the Feng et al. theoretical paper; by "adduce experimental evidence" we will include both new experiments providing evidence at > 3-sigma or equivalent, or a new theoretical analysis of data other than that of the Hungarian group providing at least 4-sigma or equivalent evidence.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.
This question is not yet open for predictions.
Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.