Scientists make particle breakthrough

2012-04-27 20:00

Geneva - European researchers say they have discovered a new subatomic particle that helps confirm our knowledge about how quarks bind - one of the basic forces in the shaping of matter.

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, or CERN, said on Friday the particle was discovered at one of CERN's two main experiments involving thousands of researchers, in collaboration with the University of Zurich.

Joe Incandela, the physicist in charge of the experiment involved with the discovery, told The Associated Press the particle was predicted long ago but finding it was "really kind of a classic tour de force of experimental work".

  • Gareth - 2012-04-27 20:49

    Interesting article. Alas I'll have to head to google for more information.

  • Philip - 2012-04-27 21:49

    Gareth go to ... In a humorous way they discuss how everything "works".

  • Neil - 2012-04-27 21:53

    When will they realize that there will always be a smaller particle to the last smallest particle found. I don't think the Universe decided: 'Thats it, thats as small as I am going to go." We need a unifying theory of all matter / particles.

      louis.pienaar1 - 2012-04-30 19:05

      Reverse engineering the universe to it's smallest particles is one of the reasons behind finding a unified theory. We need to understand what makes it tick. The more ingredients we find the better.

  • mutsvukecaleb - 2012-04-29 00:44


  • mal10s - 2012-04-29 13:40

    More information at - Physicists at Cern have not yet been able to confirm the existence of the elusive "God particle", but they have nevertheless made another interesting discovery Scientists announced that the Large Hadron Collider, often referred to as the Big Bang machine has detected an unknown particle composed of three quarks. A new baryon could thus be detected for the first time at the LHC. The baryon known as Xi_b^* confirms fundamental assumptions of physics regarding the binding of quarks. In particle physics, the baryon family refers to particles that are made up of three quarks. Quarks form a group of six particles that differ in their masses and charges. The two lightest quarks, the so-called "up" and "down" quarks, form the two atomic components, protons and neutrons. All baryons that are composed of the three lightest quarks ("up," "down" and "strange" quarks) are known. Only very few baryons with heavy quarks have been observed to date.

      mal10s - 2012-04-29 13:41

      They can only be generated artificially in particle accelerators as they are heavy and very unstable.In the course of proton collisions in the LHC at CERN, physicists Claude Amsler, Vincenzo Chiochia and Ernest Aguiló from the University of Zurich's Physics Institute managed to detect a baryon with one light and two heavy quarks. The particle Xi_b^* comprises one "up," one "strange" and one "bottom" quark (usb), is electrically neutral and has a spin of 3/2 (1.5). Its mass is comparable to that of a lithium atom. The new discovery means that two of the three baryons predicted in the usb composition by theory have now been observed. The calculations are based on data from proton-proton collisions at an energy of seven Tera electron volts (TeV) collected by the CMS detector between April and November 2011. A total of 21 Xi_b^* baryon decays were discovered -- statistically sufficient to rule out a statistical fluctuation. The discovery of the new particle confirms the theory of how quarks bind and therefore helps to understand the strong interaction, one of the four basic forces of physics which determines the structure of matter.

  • Zion - 2012-04-30 07:44

    With a bit of imagination we could convert this article into a real debate which lasts for months if not years. Swearing, cursing and calling everyone idiots. There must be no final solution or outcome which can jeopardise the life of the debate. that is done with God and Darwin in opposition.

      louis.pienaar1 - 2012-04-30 18:48

      With a bit of logic we can debate science with out having to bring up the question of religion and where it fits in. For example one can be a Christian and still take Darwin seriously.

  • raath - 2012-04-30 11:38

    Okay, this is a petty comment, but I just can't resist. The person who picks the stock photo for the article on the Sci-Tech landing page must put some more thought into it. A microscope? Really? The particle is a bit smaller than you think :p

  • merven.halo - 2012-07-04 10:37

    Lol at: PikesNo1 - June 13, 2012 at 09:08 Report comment Why are these people wasting money to look for something that simply isn't there? Big bang partical.... What a waste of intellectual capacity.

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