Large Hadron Collider Observes First New Particle

Chi-b (3P) will help scientists understand nuclear forces
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2011 7:54 AM CST
Large Hadron Collider Observes First New Particle
Engineers work to assemble one of the layers of the world's largest superconducting solenoid magnet at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particule accelerator, in Geneva, Switzerland.   (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Martial Trezzini, File)

It’s no God particle, but it’s exciting nonetheless: For the first time since it opened in 2009, the Large Hadron Collider has made a clear observation of a new particle. Chi-b (3P), as it is called, will help scientists gain a better understanding of the strong nuclear forces holding matter together, the BBC reports. It is a more excited state of the same Chi particles scientists have observed in other collision experiments.

"The new particle is made up of a 'beauty quark' and a 'beauty anti-quark,' which are then bound together," says a scientist. "People have thought this more excited state should exist for years but nobody has managed to see it until now.” He adds, "The better we understand the strong force, the more we understand a large part of the data that we see, which is quite often the background to the more exciting things we are looking for, like the Higgs.” (More Large Hadron Collider stories.)

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