Science & Technology

CERN scientists discover three new ‘exotic’ particles

Geneva, Switzerland, Jul 5 (EFE).- Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider on Tuesday announced the discovery of three new “exotic” particles.

The international LHCb collaboration at the LHC “has observed three never-before-seen particles: a new kind of ‘pentaquark’ and the first-ever pair of ‘tetraquarks’, which includes a new type of tetraquark,” the European Center for Particle Physics (CERN) said in a statement.

The LHCb project’s mission is to explore what happened immediately after the Big Bang and what allowed matter to form the universe 13.8 billion years ago.

Experiments are conducted in the LHC, a ring with a circumference of 27 kilometers located in an underground tunnel on the border between Switzerland and France.

Tuesday’s discovery is an opportunity for physicists to better understand how quarks, the smallest known particles, group together to form compositional particles.

Quarks are elementary particles that generally come together in groups of two or three to form hadrons, such as the protons and neutrons that make up the nuclei of atoms.

Exceptionally, quarks can combine into particles of four or five, hence the terms “tetraquarks” and “pentaquarks.”

Theoretical physicists had predicted the existence of these exotic hadrons over half a century ago, but it is only during the last two decades that research has enabled scientists to physically observe them.

Since the discovery of the Higgs Boson a decade ago at CERN, the LHC — a machine in which high-energy proton beams collide — has facilitated the discovery of more than 60 compositional particles.

The more experiments that are carried out, the more exotic hadron-like particles are found, coordinator of physics at the LHCb, Niels Tuning, said at a seminar.

He compared the current research climate with that of the 1950s, when vast volumes of particles, hadrons, were being discovered.

“We’re creating ‘particle zoo 2.0’,” he said to illustrate the leap particle physics is taking with these discoveries. EFE


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