Remember back when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) went online in 2009 and alarmists were saying it would implode the universe and knock your granny down some stairs and do some crazy, Event Horizon type sh*t? Well, that didn’t happen — Or did it? (No, it didn’t.) — but the LHC has detected its first new subatomic particle since powering on.
Looking at data from the ATLAS experiment, scientists at the University of Birmingham and Lancaster University found clear indication of a never-before-seen particle called Chi-b(3P). It’s pronounced “kye-bee-three-pee”, which sounds like C-3PO’s cousin. I’ll let someone else explain what “kye-bee-three-pee” is while I make R2-D2 noises and dance like a robot:
The Chi_b (3P) is a more excited state of Chi particles already seen in previous collision experiments, explained Prof Roger Jones, who works on the Atlas detector at the LHC. “The new particle is made up of a ‘beauty quark‘ and a ‘beauty anti-quark’, which are then bound together,” he told BBC News. “People have thought this more excited state should exist for years but nobody has managed to see it until now. It’s also interesting for what it tells us about the forces that hold the quark and the anti-quark together – the strong nuclear force. And that’s the same force that holds, for instance, the atomic nucleus together with its protons and the neutrons.” [BBC]