New particle discovered at LHC07/07/17Science & Technology
Scientists have detected a new particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
The discovery will help researchers learn more about the so-called ‘strong force’ which holds the centres of atoms together.
The existence of the new particle was theoretically predicted, but this is the first time it has been identified.
The details of the Xi-cc++ particle were presented at a high-energy physics conference in Venice, Italy.
The study was carried out at the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment and led by Dr Patrick Spradlin of Glasgow University, Scotland. He said that the discovery would “shed light on a longstanding puzzle and open an exciting new branch of investigation”.
His colleague, Professor Paul Soler, also from Glasgow University, described the development as “a new frontier in understanding the strong force”.
According to Professor Guy Wilkinson of Oxford University, there is an intriguing difference between the new particle and the ones that have been discovered before.
Wilkinson said: “In contrast to other particles of this type, in which the three quarks perform an elaborate dance around each other, a particle with two heavy quarks is expected to act like a planetary system, where the heavy quarks are like two stars orbiting one around the other, with the lighter quark orbiting around this binary system.”
The research team will now measure the properties of the Xi-cc++ to establish how this new arrangement of quarks behaves and how the strong force holds the system together.
The researchers have submitted a paper reporting these findings to the journal Physical Review Letters.