The ‘problem’ is that proton particles should behave in the same way when subjected to the same STP conditions. The US group expected result A, whule the Russian group expected result B. Both happened.
Or you could consider it as an excellent example of confirmation bias in physics. This is why such experiments should be duplicable, testable by others etc. There’s a chance that if others do the same experiment they could come up with disproving both earlier teams (or confirming one, or explaining why both are right). That is just regular scientific method.
We continue to find smaller and smaller ‘pieces’ of matter. Quarks are further broken down into even funnier-sounding particles.
Yes, that is why I call them useless particle smashers.
Say you let a whole cubboard full of earthenware drop off the roof: the cubboard would burst open and you’ll find its contents (cups, plates, mugs, whatever). Now you take one of the plates and throw that off the roof as well… the result would be all different types of shards - which you can then name inventively according to your own made up set of rules on what constitutes a new piece of earthenware.
Most the “new” particles cannot actually exist (very long) without the full pattern of the original particle they are the shards of. Are they actually real building blocks of the universal pattern, or just bits and pieces of such actual building blocks? We get more and more tech to smash the plates from a higher floor and more and better tech to still detect and measure the tiniest of shards… does that actually constitute science or are we just being a bull in a china shop?
But what happens if other life in the universe has advanced far enough to see deeper? Is our universe a ‘donut,’ ‘sphere,’ or ‘conical tube?’
The universe is infinite… as such it has no shape (you can never be outside it to observe it, nor does it have an edge to define that shape).
You do have a point in your post however: the main thing that all quantum physics ignores is the fact that there’s a sentience, an entity… there has to be, or you (the observer, I, ego, god, the quantum physicist etc) could not actually be doing the quantum physics.. or even read, or write, this post - or try to comprehend it.
Do not confuse the observer effect you describe with that though: that is a result of the heisenberg uncertainty principle. (like position and momentum can’t be simultaneously known to arbitrarily high precision)