While the world waits upon CERN and the LHC to discover the god particle, the elusive Higgs Boson, it seems that the LHC has discovered another particle - its first confirmed result since becoming functional in 2009.
The LHC or the Large Hadron Collider is the crowning achievement of particle physics, being the world’s largest particle accelerator and through it, that is every kilometer of its 27 km length, scientists have been trying to ascertain the very fundamentals of physics and the universe. And through its investigations, CERN has announced its very first confirmed results of discovering a previously unknown particle.
This first ‘clear observation’ is of the particle Chi_b (3P), a more excited state of Chi particles which have already been seen in previous collision experiments. The particle has been described as "the new kid on the block", proving what was once theory.
Chi_b (3P) was detected from among data collected from trillions of collisions by the LHC’s Atlas detector. The new particle will help to further explain why the universe has mass. The LHC’s results have not been published yet, but they have been put online on the scientific publication site, ArXiv.
Speaking about the discovery, Prof. Roger Jones of Lancaster University said, “The new particle is made up of a 'beauty quark' and a 'beauty anti-quark', which are then bound together. 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.”
The discovery of Chi_b (3P) is being hailed a milestone for CERN and the LHC because it is a crucial part in filling up the gaps of the Standard Model that explains how sub-atomic particles interact. This of course has been CERN’s mission from the start and as confirmation of its mission, Chi_b (3P), goes a long way to affirm this.
The University of Birmingham’s Prof.explains, “This is the first time such a new particle has been found at the LHC. Its discovery is a testament to the very successful running of the collider in 2011 and to the superb understanding of our detector which has been achieved by the Atlas collaboration already."
Of course Chi_b (3P) is looked upon as a significant step, but the greater goal of course remains the discovery of the Higgs Boson, which, as particle physicist Professor Stefan Soldner-Rembold from the University of Manchester says, "will always be the Nobel Prize."