The best scientific discovery of 2008 is something that scientists have yet to even describe. This discovery is so controversial that approximately 200 of the 600 scientists involved in the project are refusing to put their names on the 69-page paper purporting its discovery. What has been discovered is loosely being called "ghost particles" and has thrown the scientific community into a frenzy.
"Ghost particles" are something generally associated with black holes in space. They are unclassifiable particles whose origins and purpose are heatedly debated among scientists. Now, however, during a U.S. based high-energy physics experiment "ghost particles" have been mysteriously appearing. Not just once or twice, their appearance has been witnessed in roughly 100,000 experiments.
Having occurred this often it makes these "ghost particles" more than just a statistical fluke. Occasionally odd data results from experiments such as the high-energy experiments that were being worked on, but not this persistently. Not only are scientists shaking their heads at this phenomenon but many are unwilling to even say they were a part of the experiment based on these unexpected and uncanny results.
One scientist willing to comment on the experiment, Tommaso Dorigo who is a physicist at the University of Padua in Italy and collaborated on the experiment, says this: "I've been in CDF (Collider Detector at Fermilab) since 1992, but I've never seen something this strange. We need to try and understand what it is."
Bloggers and conspiracy theorists have had their way with this discovery ever since it was made public. Everyone has a theory as to "what" exactly these "ghost particles" are. The truth is, however, that no one really knows. From the lament blogger to the respected physicist nobody has any idea what these particles really are, but they all have an opinion.
That is exactly what makes this the "Best Scientific Discovery of 2008". Something has been discovered and there is still a mystery behind it, and like all the best scientific discoveries of mankind it was discovered by accident. This is something that has been taken right out of a science-fiction novel and placed in your newspaper (alright, maybe not your newspaper as they are busy "reporting" more important "news" that makes you feel fear instead of intrigue, but maybe a science magazine you subscribe to or something of the sort).
There have been many "green" advancements in science this year that would give these "ghost particles" a run for their money as far as the "Best Scientific Discovery" of the year, but how can you beat science-fiction transforming into reality. "Ghost particles" are the kinds of scientific discoveries that inspire children to become scientists, knowing that even the most far-fetched idea is achievable. Perhaps at the moment there isn't much use to be made of these, but the children of tomorrow will think back on this discovery and won't pay a moments notice to anything else discovered this year. This will be the discovery that will be written about in the history books, and we will all be able to say "I remember that, no one really cared at the time". As you tell your grandchildren this they will drop their jaws as they will not be able to fathom how such an important discovery went unnoticed.