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Large Hadron Collider researchers find new particle

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December 27, 2011

The chi b is the first new particle to be observed at the 17-mile long Large Hadron Collid...

The chi b is the first new particle to be observed at the 17-mile long Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator

British researchers say they've seen a new particle using data from the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. The chi b(3P) is the first new particle that has been clearly observed using the LHC, the world's largest particle accelerator, which is housed in a 17-mile (27-km) long tunnel near the border of Switzerland and France.

The chi b(3P) is a boson, but is different than the Higgs boson, the so-called "God particle" that researchers have also been using the LHC to search for. Researchers from the University of Birmingham and Lancaster University describe the new particle as a new way of combining a beauty quark and its antiquark so that they bind together.

"While people are rightly interested in the Higgs boson, which we believe gives particles their mass and may have started to reveal itself, a lot of the mass of everyday objects comes from the strong interaction we are investigating using the chi b," says Professor Roger Jones, Head of the Lancaster ATLAS group.

ATLAS also said in a release that the chi b is slightly heavier than predicted, meaning the quark anti-quark pair is a little more loosely bound than expected.

Lancaster researcher Dr. James Walder, who has looked for evidence of the chi b in previous experiments, says the particle has been predicted for years, but not observed until now.

"The lighter partners of the chi b(3P) were observed around twenty five years ago," adds Birmingham research fellow Dr. Miriam Watson. "Our new measurements are a great way to test theoretical calculations of the forces that act on fundamental particles, and will move us a step closer to understanding how the universe is held together."

A report on the findings have been published in the online repository arXiv.

About the Author
Eric Mack Eric Mack has been covering technology and the world since the late 1990s. As well as being a Gizmag regular, he currently contributes to CNET, NPR and other outlets.   All articles by Eric Mack
4 Comments

They could have come up with a better name for it than chi b. It will be funny if they get up to chi t.

Ethan Brush
27th December, 2011 @ 05:03 pm PST

"And there it is.... Right There! - Nope gone forever, the half life is only 1 trillion, billionth of a Femtosecond"....

Mr Stiffy
27th December, 2011 @ 05:56 pm PST

BOSONs rule! quicker we know where "mass" comes from the sooner we will be able to eliminate it!

E.J. LEVY
28th December, 2011 @ 05:57 pm PST

in the universe there is a theme of elegance. The standard model is not elegant.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that we have simply been barking up the wrong tree and have simply missed "the obvious" somewhere along the line.

cm
29th December, 2011 @ 10:05 pm PST
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