Large Hadron Collider discovers a brand new particle

Daniel McCall

After two years of the Large Hadron Collider smashing particles together at just under the speed of light, researchers say they've discovered a brand new subatomic particle. It isn't the Higgs boson (also known as the "God particle") that the scientific community was hoping to find, but it's nonetheless a victory for the program.

Chi_b (3P), as the new particle is called, is a new type of boson particle composed of a beauty quark and an antiquark. Professor Roger Jones, a researcher working on the ATLAS project, told the BBC that the Chi_b (3P) particle is a more excited version of Chi particles that the Large Hadron Collider has been observing for some time.

"The new particle is made up of a 'beauty quark' and a 'beauty anti-quark', which are then bound together," Jones explained.

"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."

While the discovery of Chi_b (3P) isn't going to lead into new scientific breakthroughs or anything, Jones says that the new particle will help scientists better understand how the universe works.

"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," he said. "So, it's helping put together that basic understanding that we have and need to do the new physics."

Source: BBC